Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes scoops men’s Player of the Year award, Sarah Robson of Durham was women’s Player of the Year, Sunderland keeper Anthony Patterson was voted Young Player and Jill Scott received the Personality of the Year award from the Sir Bobby Robson foundation.
The cream of North East football turned out to recognise stars from all levels of the game at the North East Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year awards night on Sunday.
Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimarães was presented with men’s player of the year for 2022 at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham.
The Brazil international, who is the 43rd recipient of the award, said: “When I signed for the club, I wanted to put my name in the club’s history.
“I always imagined good things when I signed, but if I said I could have been here today, I would have been lying.
“I’m so happy to be here. It has been an amazing year for me since I signed. It’s very special; this is given by journalists, people that know football, and I’m very happy.”
Lioness Jill Scott was presented with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation personality of the year award by charity patron Steve Harper, the former Newcastle keeper.
The Sunderland-born star told host Ian Dennis, BBC Five Live’s chief football reporter, the award was an ‘amazing honour’, and paid tribute to the North East for the role it has played in her journey to become England’s second-highest capped player and a European Champion last summer.
She said: “I was so fortunate to be part of a great group, of staff and the team, and to finally get that gold medal. I think I competed in 10 tournaments in over 16 years, so that was kind of the most special moment ever.
“I now have a hideous tattoo on my arm that’s meant to be a lioness but it’s like a really bad cat tattoo. But every time I look down on it, I’m just so proud because it reminds me of that win at Wembley.
“I think I swore a bit in the game. I think that was the North East passion coming out of me. I’ve never shied away that I was an average player but with a big heart and I thank the North East for that because I think if you’re from the area then that’s instilled in you.”
Sunderland keeper Anthony Patterson collected the young player of the year award from his manager Tony Mowbray and Northern Ireland’s Sarah Robson was presented with the women’s player of the year for the second year running by NEFWA chairman Colin Young.
Mowbray was joined by Newcastle manager Eddie Howe and Alan Shearer, who presented long-serving former Newcastle physio Derek Wright with the Bob Cass Award.
Former FWA chairman and legendary Darlington-born journalist Bob was one of the founders of the NEFWA night, and the award in his memory is in recognition of significant contribution to football in the North East.
Wright retired last summer after 38 years at St James’ Park and helped Shearer through his recovery from career-threatening injury in 1997.
Gateshead FC and Marske United FC received special recognition awards and the John Fotheringham Award, in honour of another NEFWA founder, went to former Middlesbrough manager and Hartlepool director Lennie Lawrence, for outstanding services to North East football.
And one of the highlights of the night was the presentation of the 2020 Fotheringham Award to former Daily Mail football writer Doug Weatherall.
Doug, now 90, was once a longstanding NEFWA chairman, and he was on stage to receive his 2020 award from former FWA chairman Paul Hetherington, after missing the last two ceremonies because of Covid.
We thank our family of sponsors for supporting the evening: William Hill, FedEx, DataPowa, Football Manager and Sky Sports.