Stopper picks up football writers' gong.
Simon Mignolet picked up a trophy to add to his cabinet by scooping the North East Football Writers’ Player of the Year award last night.
Mignolet was at Ramside Hall in Durham to pick up his prize in front of a star-studded audience including manager Martin O’Neill.
The Belgian beat off stiff competition to land the prize following an excellent 2012 where he has cemented his reputation as one of the Barclays Premier League’s top stoppers.
He was announced as the winner last month and received the trophy on stage after a video montage of some of his stunning saves was shown.
Typically modest, Mignolet was quick to thank his colleagues afterwards.
“I am delighted to have won this award, but football is about the team as well as individuals,” he said.
“I have ten players in front of me and I would like to thank the staff, players and fans of Sunderland Football Club.
“Being voted as the FWA's North East Player of the Year is brilliant and a big honour for me.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland’s ladies side were recognised with a special team award after going unbeaten throughout the 2012 calendar year.
Mick Mulhern’s team claimed a league and cup double last season and are yet to be defeated during the current campaign.
Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole accepted the award on behalf of the current league leaders.