Allan Saint-Maximin is the North East Football Writers’ player of the year for 2021.
The Newcastle United forward narrowly beat team-mate Calum Wilson to the award voted by football journalists in the region. Middlesbrough’s Paddy McNair was third.
Durham Women’s Sarah Robson is the Women’s player of the year after denying her Championship team-mate Beth Hepple a second win of the award.
Saint-Maximin is the 41st winner, joining a list which includes team-mates Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie, who were joint winners, Alan Shearer, Shay Given, Fabricio Coloccini, Les Ferdinand, Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley also won the award.
He joins a long list of French stars who have entertained and guaranteed fans rise from their seats at St James’ Park and has shone, at times, in a difficult 2021 for Newcastle United.
Signed by Steve Bruce in August 2019, the 24-year-old has now made 70 Premier League appearances for the club and scored 10 goals.
Experienced Northern Ireland international Sarah Robson, 34, a former Sunderland player, has capped off an excellent year with Championship side Durham to become the fourth player from the club to win the women’s prize.
The awards, sponsored by William Hill, will be presented on Sunday March 6 at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham and tickets are on sale now The event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but last year’s main winners – Middlesbrough pair Jonny Howson and Marcus Tavernier and Durham’s Beth Hepple – will receive their awards on the night, as well as Sunderland’s Luke O’Nien, who was named Sir Bobby Robson Foundation personality of the year. The charity’s personality of 2021 will be announced shortly.
The night will also acknowledge Hartlepool’s return to the Football League, Sunderland’s EFL Trophy triumph, as well as Consett and Hebburn’s memorial FA Vase runs, culminating in Consett’s Wembley victory over their Northern League rivals.
The NEFWA also presents the John Fotheringham and Bob Cass awards, in memory of two North East football writing legends, to recognise outstanding contributions to the region’s football.
The NEFWA young player of the year award will be announced next week.
PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE NORTH-EAST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
1980 David Armstrong (Middlesbrough)
1981 Jim Platt (Middlesbrough)
1982 Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson (Sunderland)
1983 Kevin Keegan (Newcastle)
1984 Kevin Keegan (Newcastle)
1985 Chris Waddle (Newcastle)
1986 Peter Beardsley (Newcastle)
1987 David McCreery/Neil McDonald (Newcastle)
1988 Tony Mowbray (Middlesbrough)
1989 Marco Gabbiadini (Sunderland)
1990 Mick Quinn (Newcastle)
1991 Joe Allen (Hartlepool United)
1992 Stephen Pears (Middlesbrough)
1993 Lee Clark (Newcastle)
1994 Peter Beardsley (Newcastle)
1995 Barry Venison (Newcastle)
1996 Les Ferdinand (Newcastle)
1997 Juninho (Middlesbrough)
1998 Paul Merson (Middlesbrough)
1999 Niall Quinn (Sunderland)
2000 Kevin Phillips (Sunderland)
2001 Thomas Sorensen (Sunderland)
2002 Shay Given (Newcastle)
2003 Alan Shearer (Newcastle)
2004 Gareth Southgate (Middlesbrough)
2005 Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough)
2006 Shay Given (Newcastle)
2007 Nyron Nosworthy/Dean Whitehead (Sunderland)
2008 David Wheater (Middlesbrough)
2009 Danny Collins (Sunderland)
2010 Darren Bent (Sunderland)
2011 Fabricio Colocinni (Newcastle)
2012 Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)
2013 Yohann Cabaye (Newcastle)
2014 Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)
2015 Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle)
2016 Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)
2017 Jamaal Lascelles/Matt Ritchie (Newcastle)
2018 Martin Dubravka (Newcastle)
2019 Fabian Schar (Newcastle)
2020 Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough)
2021 Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle)