Scott Parker admitted he was “staggered” to have collected the 2011 Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year Award.
In what was one of the closest contests of recent seasons, Parker topped the poll of journalists ahead of Tottenham defender Gareth Bale.
The England international – who started his career at Charlton before spells with Chelsea and Newcastle ahead of joining the Irons in 2007 – was guest of honour as he collected the prestigious accolade, which has been running since 1948, at a gala dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel on May 12.
Parker, 30, is the first Hammer since England World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore in 1964 to receive the FWA Award, and the midfielder admitted it was a moving occasion.
“It feels pretty amazing, when I first got the call to say I had won the award, you can imagine all of the emotions into one, exciting and shock,” said Parker, who has been an inspiration as Avram Grant’s men battle to stay in the Barclays Premier League. “I am staggered I have won and am very, very proud.
“This is a massive thing, when you look back at the people who have won this award in the past, especially someone like the great Bobby Moore, to think my name will be along side them is pretty special for me.”
Parker added: “I feel like I have been playing the best football of my career over the past couple of years, which is down to a number of things and I guess you come wiser with age.
“I feel like I am as strong as ever and I would like to think I can carry on maintaining my performances.
Parker also took time to pay tribute to his team-mates in what has been a difficult season for all involved at Upton Park.
“At the end of the day, I am in a team sport and ultimately am not doing it by myself,” the England midfielder said, who joined West Ham in 2007.
“I could change all this for me to stay up and be involved in a successful team.
“I would not want to be involved in a team which went down, along with all the rest of the squad, so hopefully we can get some results before the end of the season and other results go our way, so we can get out it.”