Anthony Patterson named FWA North East Young Player of the Year

22-year-old goalkeeper is the second successive Sunderland man to win Young Player award

Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson has been named the North East Football Writers’ Association’s Young Player of the Year award for 2022.

Patterson is the second successive winner of the award to hail from Sunderland, with his team-mate, Dan Neil, triumphing last year.

He follows former Sunderland keeper and England Number One Jordan Pickford in picking up the award. Pickford won the award twice in 2016 and 2017 before joining Everton.

Patterson said: “I’m delighted to receive such a special award. 

“To start last season at Notts County before winning promotion, signing a new contract and being given the number one shirt has been a whirlwind, but I’ve loved every minute. 

“I know how special the award is, and to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson is something I’m very proud of. 

“I’m learning every time I step out onto the football pitch, and hopefully I can continue to help the team progress up the table.

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray added: “Congratulations to Anthony, it’s a great story. He is a very unassuming kid and he keeps himself to himself. 

“What is fantastic is he keeps the ball out of the net using his big frame to his advantage. He has a great personality for a goalkeeper, he wants to learn, and he’s done extremely well. As his confidence grows, I’m sure he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Patterson, 22, who is from North Shields, was recalled from a loan at Notts County last January to cover for the absence of both Thorben Hoffmann and Lee Burge, and has not looked back since.

He forced his way into Sunderland’s starting line-up under Alex Neil in the second half of last season, and played a crucial role in the Black Cats’ promotion from League One, performing superbly in the two-legged play-off semi-final win over Sheffield Wednesday and making a crucial save from Sam Vokes in the Wembley win over Wycombe.

He has been equally impressive in the Championship this season, starting all 26 of Sunderland’s league games and keeping seven clean sheets as the Black Cats have successfully established themselves in the top half of the table.

Patterson was the standout winner of the young player award which was first won in 2008 by Newcastle defender Steven Taylor. 

Since then Jack Colback, Pickford, Josh Maja and Neil have picked up the trophy at the annual awards’ night in Durham.  

NEFWA secretary Colin Young said: “After another exciting year for North-East football, we’ve got three extremely worthy recipients of our awards.

“Bruno Guimaraes ended up being a clear winner of the main award, Anthony Patterson won the Young Player award after a brilliant 12 months with Sunderland and Sarah Robson’s Women’s Player of the Year comes in the week she has made her 150th appearance for Durham Women who continue to be a great footballing story.

“We’re looking forward to our winners getting their awards at our awards night in March, which is always a real highlight of the North-East footballing calendar.”

Earlier this week, Newcastle’s Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes was named the NEFWA Player of the Year for 2022, while Durham’s Sarah Robson was named Women’s Player. 

The recipients of the prestigious John Fotheringham and Bob Cass Awards, for outstanding service to North East football, will be announced in due course.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation/NEFWA personality of the year award, which was handed to Middlesbrough-born Chris Kamara last year, will also be revealed next week.

The North East football writers also recognise the achievements of the region’s non-league clubs and this year will honour Gateshead and Marske United’s promotions.  

The NEFWA Awards Night, sponsored by William Hill and the FWA, will take place at the Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club, near Durham, on Sunday, March 5. Ticket details are available by emailing

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