Player of the Year: Defoe scoops top prize

Jermain Defoe and Jordan Pickford were recognised last night at the Supporters’ Player of the Year awards at the Stadium of Light.

Defoe was voted by fans as their Player of the Year for the second successive season after scoring yet another 15 league goals for the Black Cats this campaign.

Jordan Pickford was named as Young Player of the Year following an impressive season in which he broke into the first-team reckoning before cementing himself as the club’s first-choice stopper.

Like Defoe, the Washington-born stopper has received critical acclaim and international recognition this campaign, with both players selected in the England senior squad this campaign.

Over 300 supporters turned out from supporters’ branches across the north east and beyond, as members of the first team also attended to celebrate the duo’s achievements.

After picking up successive POTY awards, Defoe said: “It’s really special to be voted for by the fans and everyone knows what a special relationship I have with them, so I’m really thankful to everyone for voting for me again.”

And Young Player of the Year, Pickford, was equally proud of his award: “It feels good, especially if you look at the list of young players that have won this award and what they’ve gone on to do – it just shows hard work pays off.

“Hearing the fans sing my name through this season has been really great too, and it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when they’re shouting your name, so it’s a massive privilege for myself and my family to receive this from the fans.”

Elsewhere, Danielle Brown was named as the Supporters’ Ladies Young Player of Year and Hayley Sharp was recognised as the Ladies Player of the Year.

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