BREAKING NEWS: Jordan Henderson beats Kevin De Bruyne and his Liverpool team-mates to the FWA Footballer of the Year award as the title-winning captain is rewarded for his outstanding year ON AND OFF the pitch
- Jordan Henderson has been crowned the FWA Footballer of the Year
- Liverpool captain inspired his side to a first league title in 30 years
- Henderson also rewarded for his outstanding work off the pitch
- The midfielder helped instigate the #playerstogether charitable fund for the NHS
Jordan Henderson has been rewarded for his outstanding season on and off the pitch by being named the FWA Footballer of the Year.
He becomes the 12th Liverpool player to claim the individual prize and the first since Mohamed Salah just two years ago.
The Reds captain beat off competition from his own team-mates including Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane and also Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and Marcus Rashford to cap off an extraordinary 12 months.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been named the FWA Footballer of the Year
Henderson has inspired Liverpool to their first league title since 1990 this season
His form has seen him come out on top ahead of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne
Henderson’s team-mates Virgil van Dijk (centre) and Sadio Mane (right) were also in top five
Marcus Rashford finished third in the standings after his best season so far at Old Trafford
The Premier League champions dominated the voting but Henderson still received more than a quarter of the votes.
As well as the top five of Henderson, De Bruyne, Rashford, Van Dijk and Mane, 10 other players received votes from FWA members including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Raheem Sterling, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Sergio Aguero, Adama Traore, Danny Ings, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Jonny Evans.
FWA TOP FIVE
1. Jordan Henderson
2. Kevin De Bruyne
3. Marcus Rashford
4. Virgil van Dijk
5. Sadio Mane
Henderson’s charitable work off the pitch has not gone unnoticed, either.
The 30-year-old instigated the #playerstogether initiative at the height of the coronavirus crisis to ‘distribute money to where it is needed most’ in the fight against the global pandemic.
Henderson paid tributes to his team-mates again as he followed in the footsteps of Salah, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez in claiming the award.
He said: ‘I’d like to say how appreciative I am of the support of those who voted for me and the Football Writers’ Association in general.
‘You only have to look at the past winners of it, a number of whom I’ve been blessed to play with here at Liverpool, like Stevie (Gerrard), Luis (Suarez) and Mo (Salah) to know how prestigious it is.
‘But as grateful as I am I don’t feel like I can accept this on my own. I don’t feel like anything I’ve achieved this season or in fact during my whole career has been done on my own.
‘I owe a lot to so many different people – but none more so than my current teammates – who have just been incredible and deserve this every bit as much as I do.
‘We’ve only achieved what we’ve achieved because every single member of our squad has been brilliant. And not just in matches. Not just in producing the moments that make the headlines and the back pages but every day in training.
Henderson has also been rewarded for his active work off the pitch in the coronavirus crisis
Henderson helped to instigate the #playerstogether charitable fund for the NHS
Henderson embraces manager Jurgen Klopp following a fine Liverpool campaign
‘The players who’ve started the most games for us this season have been as good as they have been because of our culture and our environment at Melwood. No one individual is responsible for that – it’s a collective effort and that’s how I view accepting this honour.
HOW SPORTSMAIL CALLED IT
Should he maintain the levels he has so thrillingly found – do not forget that last week England’s fans recognised him as the Player of the Year for 2019 – the Premier League title might not be the only trophy he lifts. Do not be surprised if the gong comes his way.
READ – Why Jordan Henderson should be player of the year
‘I accept it on behalf of this whole squad, because without them I’m not in a position to be receiving this honour. These lads have made me a better player – a better leader and a better person.
‘If anything I hope those who voted for me did so partly to recognise the entire team’s contribution.
‘Individual awards are nice and they are special and I will cherish this one. But an individual award without the collective achievement wouldn’t mean anywhere as much to me – if anything at all.’
FWA chair, Carrie Brown, saluted Henderson for his sterling work off the pitch: ‘Leadership is intangible and often unquantifiable unless it is inarguable. Jordan Henderson is both the ultimate professional and now a bona fide Liverpool legend.
‘Jordan is a player his team-mates look to on the pitch and who his rivals look up to off it.
‘The voting criteria for the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year is one who leads by precept and example and in this country’s darkest moment, Jordan, unprompted, personally rallied club captains to establish #PlayersTogether.
‘Millions of pounds have been raised for the NHS and significantly #PlayersTogether is now an established collective power base for players to engage in campaigns, none more so evident in the ongoing and powerful anti-racism #BlackLivesMatter campaign.
Henderson celebrates one of his four Premier League goals this season with Roberto Firmino
Henderson kisses the Premier League trophy after receiving it from Sir Kenny Dalglish
A statement, sent out by the Premier League captains, said that funds will go to ‘those fighting for us on the NHS frontline as well as other key areas of need’.
LAST FIVE WINNERS
2018-19: Raheem Sterling (Man City)
2017-18: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
2016-17: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
2015-16: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)
2014-15: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
On the pitch, Henderson has been inspirational, cajoling his Liverpool team-mates into securing their first league title in 30 years.
Henderson has scored four times in 30 appearances, but has been a talismanic figure in raising the standards of his team-mates to secure the earliest league title in Premier League history.
Liverpool’s triumph was confirmed with seven games to spare, despite the three-month hiatus caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 in March.
Manchester City’s De Bruyne was the other outstanding candidate to take home the award.
The Belgian has enjoyed a fine campaign despite City’s struggles, returning a haul of 11 goals and 22 assists so far.
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