Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Gerrard wins Footballer of the Year

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been named ‘Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year’ for the first time in his career. He received 73 of the 202 votes to win the most prestigious individual award in English football. He is the first Reds player since John Barnes in 1990 to win the honour. Gerrard becomes the eleventh Kop hero to win the prize, meaning Liverpool have had more players win the award then any other club. Speaking to the official site, Gerrard said “I'm delighted but I'm a little bit surprised.”

“When you look at the quality of the players there are in this league, it's a great privilege to win this kind of award. It's made even more special for me because I am following in the footsteps of Liverpool players like John Barnes, Steve Nicol and Kenny Dalglish who were heroes of mine.”

“Then further back players like Ian Callaghan and Terry McDermott who were heroes to my dad and so many other Liverpool fans.”

“It's not just the Manchester United players - when you look at the players the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal and other teams have got, they all have fantastic players throughout their squads now. The quality is getting better and better each year so to win this award is a great achievement for myself.”

“But I've had fantastic help along the way from everyone at this football club. But the biggest thank you’s have to go to the manager, the coaching staff and my team-mates. Individual awards are great but you don't win them without great help from those people.”

Rafael Benitez also speaking to the official site said “I'm really pleased for Steven. It is fantastic for him because he was competing with a lot of good players. For him to be named player of the year is massive credit to him and shows just how much he has achieved. He has scored 23 goals for our team already this season and clearly he has had another fantastic season.”

“Everyone at the club is delighted that he has been given this award.”

“When Steven was told that he was the winner the first thing he said to me was thanks to the staff and thanks to his team-mates. This is a very positive reaction and shows how much Steven is part of a team.”

Steve Bates, National Chairman of the Football Writers' Association said “We are delighted to honour Steven's contribution this season with our prestigious award.”

“Steven has had a fantastic season and has so often been the driving force behind Liverpool's forceful challenge for the Barclays Premier League title.”

“His passion and desire to send the title race into the closing days of this campaign has underpinned Liverpool's pursuit of Manchester United and he has frequently caught the eye with outstanding performances which have showcased his considerable talent.”

“Steven is viewed by the Football Writers who voted as the heartbeat of Liverpool's team and a player who gives everything for the cause. He follows a long and illustrious list of British and European footballers to win the vote of the Football Writers.”

Steven will be presented with his award at a gala dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Friday May 29.

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