Sunderland AFC forward Duncan Watmore has spoken of his pride after being nominated by the Foundation of Light for the EFL Player in the Community award.
The Black Cats player was put forward for his commitment to community work, which saw him take part in events by SAFC and the official charity of the club, Foundation of Light, last season.
Duncan, who was recovering from a long-term injury, took part in a number of community activities during his rehabilitation, ranging from visiting pupils who take part in a Foundation’s Making Moves disability sessions to Salvation Army’s Angel Tree appeal, which helps boys and girls who may have woken up on Christmas Day without a present.
Juan Mata’s Common Goal project has also seen Watmore donate 1% of his salary to good causes over his career, and he is a proud supporter of the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
Duncan said: “Being a footballer puts me in a very fortunate position to be able to not only fulfil my sporting dreams, but to also use the power of football to help make a difference to our community.
“It is an honour to be put forward for the award and I am proud to be able to play a part in helping and supporting the local community through the fantastic work of Foundation of Light and other organisations.”
The 24-year-old is on the road to recovery from a cruciate ligament knee injury and has made a handful of appearances so far this season.
In his latest outing, he scored the opening goal in the Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final at the Stadium of Light against Manchester City.
Duncan added: “I have had a challenging time over the last two seasons but getting out into the community and getting involved in activities with supporters and young people was something that really helped to me as I worked hard on my recovery”.
EFL judges will look to recognise the player whose involvement in the community went over and above either in breadth of involvement in community programmes or due to the depth of support for project or activity.
The overall winner will be announced in April.