Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Pair Land Top Awards for 2016

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Pair Land Top Awards for 2016

Article excerpt

SUNDERLAND striker Jermain Defoe has been named the North East Football Writers' Association's 2016 footballer of the year, while team-mate Jordan Pickford has won the Young Player award.

Defoe becomes the 37th winner of the award and follows the likes of Darren Bent, Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn who have won the award in the past.

The England striker was the clear winner among the panel, seeing off competition from Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson who finished second and Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles, who was third.

Defoe hit his 150th Premier League goal last month and has scored 19 goals in the league in 2016, and he admits it is a huge honour to have been recognised for the award.

Speaking to safc.com, Defoe said: "I feel very much at home in the North East, so to win this award is a real honour. The fans here are very knowledgeable and so passionate - football is their life and that makes it a great place for any player to play football. …

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