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Sterling, Dyche, Dalglish - Big winners at MBNA Northwest Football Awards 2014

Wed 19th Nov 2014 | Football Industry Events

England international Raheem Sterling completed a stunning hat-trick for Liverpool FC after being named top Premier League player at the coveted MBNA Northwest Football of the Year Awards in Manchester last night.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche, nicknamed ‘Ginger Mourinho’ by Clarets fans, scooped Manager of the Year while former Anfield legend, Kenny Dalglish, succeeded fellow Scot, Sir Alex Ferguson, by receiving a Lifetime Contribution award.

Sterling, not 20 until next month, is the third successive Liverpool winner after defenders Martin Skrtel in 2012 and Jamie Carragher 12 months ago. He took the honour ahead of Merseyside rival, Seamus Coleman of Everton, plus Mancunian duo, Yaya Toure of City and United’s David De Gea.

Sterling’s victory and the rest of the prestigious MBNA Northwest Football Awards winners were revealed in front of 500 guests at the Point, Emirates Old Trafford. The event was compered by BBC Television’s Dan Walker with a highlights show to be broadcast on BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC Manchester and BBC Lancashire.

Dyche denied Liverpool a notable double with his elevation to Manager of the Year, from Brendan Rodgers and Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini.

The 43-year-old, who replaced Eddie Howe as Turf Moor boss in October 2012 and succeeds Sir Alex Ferguson, as MBNA Northwest Manager of the Year, guided the Clarets back into the top flight after a four year absence with the best defensive record in the division.

After a sticky start to life back among the elite Burnley recently recorded a first Premier League win of the season by beating Hull City 1-0 at Turf Moor.

Danny Ings’ 21-goals also proved crucial to Burnley’s promotion and the England Under 21 international striker, who netted twice in a 3-1 win over Portugal last week, has been named Championship Player of the Year.

Joe Garner (Preston North End), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town) and Luke George (Southport) picked up the respective prizes for League One, League Two and Conference. Marcos Lopes, Manchester City’s Brazilian born, Portuguese Under 21 international, was voted the North West’s Rising Star. 

Manchester City’s Steph Houghton is Female Player of the Year in succession to Blues team mate, Toni Duggan, then with Everton.

Fabrice Muamba presented the Award for Medical & Sports Science Professional to Manchester United physiotherapist Les Parry who started his career at Tranmere Rovers fc as physio and caretaker manager eventually moving onto Accrington Stanley before his current role with United’s development squad whilst completing his PHD.

It’s a long time since Kenny Dalglish was cast as a ‘rising star’-Harry Redknapp revealing ‘King Kenny’ spent a fortnight on trial at West Ham in 1966-but Liverpool’s first player-manager has enjoyed a remarkable career on both sides of the touchline.

Making his senior debut at Glasgow Celtic in 1968, he joined Liverpool in 1977 and won six Football League first division titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and three European Cups in 13 years as a player.

Scotland’s most capped international left Liverpool in 1991 and guided Blackburn to their solitary Premier League title in 1995. He also managed Newcastle and Celtic before returning to Anfield in 2011.

Kenny was in charge of Liverpool on the day of the Hillsborough disaster-April 15, 1989-and he has subsequently worked closely with the Hillsborough Family Support Group. He can now add the MBNA Northwest Football Awards Lifetime Contribution accolade to his extensive roll of honour. Kenny's trophy was presented by someone he knows well-Margaret Aspinall, from the Hillsborough Family Support Group whose son James was one of the 96 Liverpool fans killed on that day.

Michael Donald, Commercial and Customer Experience Executive for MBNA, naming rights sponsors for the awards, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Kenny has been recognised for his lifetime contribution to football. Combine this with his enormous personal contribution to charitable fund raising over the decades, and this is a truly fitting accolade.  His contribution to the Hillsborough Family Support Group, in particular, is something incredibly special and I was delighted to be able to stand alongside Margaret to thank him for all he has done for sport and for the wider sporting community.”

The annual awards also mark achievements of the North West football family away from the pitch which is why Everton are celebrating winning ‘Premier League Community Club of the Year’ and ‘Best Club Sponsorship’.  Everton in the Community have introduced an effective project “Pass on Memories” to assist dementia patients and recently received a £4.5million grant through government and business investment to deliver a flagship traineeship programme. The team have also secured a new location for a free school to be located just minutes away from Goodison Park.

‘Business Services to Football’ was retained by Ripple Effect for their high quality work within football and praised for their ground breaking work within their project in Liverpool. They also work alongside Bolton and are extremely well thought of within the football industry.

The Daily Mirror’s football correspondent, David McDonnell, scooped ‘Journalist of the Year’ for being at the forefront of the Louis Van Gaal story, heading in the direction of Manchester United even before David Moyes was released from his duties. 

While Lancashire pensioner, Alan “Birdy” Birkbeck, a Blackburn Rovers fan since the age of three and retired printer, has been chosen as ‘Unsung Hero’ for his dedication to the club and he was presented his trophy by Alan Myers, Director of Communications for Blackburn Rovers.

Laura Wolfe, managing director of NWFA said,

“I’m pleased to say that these awards have been the most successful in our history and I would like to thank our sponsors MBNA for helping to ensure that they get more spectacular every year.  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!”

The full list of award winners for 2014-

Community Initiative of the Year:

Blackpool FC Community Trust: also nominated-Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Everton FC, City in the Community, Morecambe FC Community Sports, Wigan Athletic Community Trust.

Community Club of the Year-Premier League:

Everton in the Community: also nominated-City in the Community, Manchester United Foundation. 

Community Club of the Year-all other Leagues:

Wigan Athletic: also nominated-Morecambe FC Community Trust, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust.

Best Club Sponsorship/Marketing & Engagement:

Everton: also nominated-Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Manchester United.

Professional Services to Football

Mills & Reeve: also nominated-Pinsent Masons.

Business Services to Football Award:

Rippleffect: also nominated-Complete Sport, Little League Sports.

Journalist of the Year:

David McDonnell (Daily Mirror): also nominated-Tony Barrett, Andy Hunter, Mark Ogden, Jonathan Northcroft, Ian Herbert, Chris Bascombe.

Fabrice Muamba Award for Medical & Sports Science Professional:

Les Parry: also nominated- Joyce Watson, Simon Farnworth, Ian Irvin, Matt (Matthew) Jackson.

Female Player of the Year:

Steph Houghton (Manchester City): also nominated-Nikita Parris (Everton), Fara Williams (Liverpool).

Manager of the Year:

Sean Dyche (Burnley): also nominated-Brendan Rodgers (Liverpool), Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City).

Player of the Year:

Premier League:

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool): also nominated: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), David De Gea (Manchester United).

Rising Star:

Marcos Lopes (Manchester City): also nominated- Ross Barkley (Everton), Jordan Rossiter (Liverpool FC), James Wilson (Manchester United), Josh Brownhill (Preston North End), Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers).


Danny Ings (Burnley): also nominated-Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers), James McArthur (Wigan Athletic-now Crystal Palace-), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers).

League One:

Joe Garner (Preston North End): also nominated-James Wesolowski (Oldham Athletic), Jason Koumas (Tranmere Rovers).

League Two:

Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town): also nominated-Danny Mayor (Bury FC), Ian Henderson (Rochdale FC).


Luke George (Southport): also nominated-Danny Andrew (Macclesfield), Andy Burns (Barrow).

Unsung Hero:

Alan ‘Birdy’ Birkbeck (Blackburn Rovers).

Lifetime Contribution:

Kenny Dalglish.         



Image: Action Images / John Sibley

Posted by: Kev Howland 

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