Golden boot winner Sergio Aguero is the new MBNA Northwest Football Awards Premier League Player of the Season.
In doing so Manchester City’s Argentine goal machine broke Liverpool’s monopoly on the accolade after wins in the Anfield Red for Lucas, Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher and Raheem Sterling.
Ironically, Aguero could make his Premier League return against Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Etihad Stadium on November 21 after missing City’s last seven matches with a hamstring injury.
The 27-year-old South American sharpshooter saw-off opposition from Liverpool’s Brazilian favourite, Philippe Coutinho, David de Gea (Manchester United), Phil Jagielka (Everton) and Tom Heaton (Burnley) to add his name to the MBNA NWFA roll of honour.
The Awards ceremony was attended by 500 guests and hosted at the Point, Emirates Old Trafford by BBC TV and Radio presenter, Dan Walker. All awards related to the 2014-2015 campaign when Aguero, who made his City debut in August 2011, netted 26 times, including four against Spurs, to win the Premier League Golden Boot.
City bagged a brace of trophies as England midfielder Jill Scott, a bronze medallist with the Lionesses at the 2015 World Cup, defeated Gabby George (Everton) and Liverpool’s Fara Williams to become Women’s Player of the Year for a second successive time. She was an Everton player when taking the prize in 2011.
In the Championship, Blackburn Rovers’ Swedish born defender, Marcus Olsson was the winner ahead of Tim Ream (ex Bolton, now at Fulham) and Jason Pearce of Wigan Athletic.
Preston North End and Accrington Stanley were among the night’s big winners; each club scooping two of the major playing prizes.
Defender Paul Huntington was voted top player in League One from a list featuring: Ben Garratt (Crewe), Ian Henderson (Rochdale), Mike Jones (Oldham Athletic) and Chris Maxwell (Fleetwood Town).
And the Lilywhites, who achieved promotion to the Championship last season thanks to a Wembley play-off final win over Swindon Town, also provided the Manager of the Year with Simon Grayson selected in front of Bury’s David Flitcroft plus City’s women’s team boss, Nick Cushing, and former Liverpool ladies’ chief, Matt Beard.
Super Stanley celebrated twice after Piero Mingoia,24, and 21-year-old Josh Windass-a reported January transfer window target for Arsenal-picked up the League Two and Mob Sport Rising Star honours. Windass is the son of former Hull City legend and one-time Oldham loanee, Dean Windass.
The National League Player of the Year trophy went to Southport’s former Preston defender, Luke Foster.
Everton’s England Under 19’s defender, Gabby George, became the inaugural winner of the women’s Rising Star accolade.
The Awards, now in their ninth year and organized by Journey9, don’t only recognize achievement on the pitch. They celebrate the work of the Northwest football family in all areas, especially the outstanding contribution from the club’s community departments.
So, while Burnley lost their coveted elite playing status last season, they proved top of the table by winning the Premier League’s Community Club of the Year accolade from Everton In The Community, MCFC City In The Community and Manchester United Foundation.
UCFB Burnley-a Higher Education facility offering degrees and executive education in the football business, sports and leisure industries, based at Turf Moor- won Best Club Sponsorship & Engagement.
Burnley FC In The Community were Highly Commended in the Community Initiative of the Year category for the Danny Ings Disability Sports Project-established to provide free football coaching to children in all seven Special Education Needs Schools in the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale region.
However, the winners were MCFC City in the Community Foundation for their ‘One City’ Disability Project aimed at educating primary school children about disabilities and to breakdown stereotypical attitudes.
Blackburn Rovers FC Community Trust were judged Community Club of the Year, outside the Premier League, while Dave Fevre earned the Ewood Park outfit more recognition when he won the Fabrice Muamba award for outstanding contribution to football Medicine and Science.
Everton’s ‘We Are Chosen’ season ticket campaign won the Toffees ‘Best Club Marketing Campaign’ for a second successive season.
Mills & Reeve LLP scooped ‘Professional Services to Football’ while Chester based Complete Sports Solutions were first time winners of the UCFB ‘Business Services’ award-a company specializing in arranging group sports tours and producing tailor-made itineraries to main sporting destinations.
Tony Barrett, Merseyside writer for the Times, won the ‘golden pen’ prize; better known as Journalist of the Year and taking over the mantle from the Daily Mirror’s David McDonnell.
When it comes to Tranmere Rovers, Tony Coombes is a legend. And now it’s official. The club’s programme designer, who joined Rovers in 1999 and who has carried out a variety of roles in the intervening 16 years is the new NWFA Unsung Hero.
Last but arguably first is Tony Parkes-the recipient of a prize previously won by Kenny Dalglish, Sir Alex Ferguson and Dave Whelan.
Parkes, now 66, served Blackburn Rovers as player, coach and caretaker manager for 34 years. Parkes had six spells in his latter role, taking over from the likes of Roy Hodgson, Brian Kidd and Graeme Souness.
After leaving Rovers in November 2004, he moved to Blackpool taking on the jobs of assistant, caretaker and full-time manager prior to his departure at the end of the 2008/2009 campaign.
Laura Wolfe, managing director of Journey9 and the MBNA Northwest Football Awards, said:”I am delighted to say these Awards have been the most successful in our history with record engagement from clubs and businesses alike.
“I would like to thank our sponsors MBNA for the second year running for supporting our vision and enabling us to achieve it.
“Also a huge thank you to the Northwest footballing community who help to make these Awards engaging and fiercely competitive-as all football should be.”