Full-back claims top award at United's 2015/16 End of Season Dinner...
Charlie Taylor has been crowned as the 2015/16 Leeds United Player of the Year.
Taylor topped the club’s official vote and was presented with his award on Saturday evening by United legend Norman Hunter at the Centenary Pavilion.
Saturday’s End of Season Awards Dinner saw fellow Thorp Arch graduate Lewis Cook claim the Young Player of the Year award for the second season running, while winger Stuart Dalla earned recognition from his team-mates as the Players’ Player of the Year.
Cook, who was recently named the Football League’s Young Player of the Year, also collected his second trophy of the evening – the Goal of the Year award – for his stunning strike in February’s 1-1 draw at home to Fulham.
Saturday evening also brought recognition for the club’s longest-serving employee, with Mandy Ward of the Ticket Office claiming the Bobby Collins Unsung Hero award after 31 years of service at the club.
The Awards Dinner, hosted by Leeds-supporting television presenter and comedian Ben Shires, saw Taylor pip fellow nominees Mirco Antenucci, Cook, Liam Bridcutt and Gaetano Berardi to the club’s most prestigious annual award.
Hunter, United’s first ever winner of the award back in 1971, was on hand to present the trophy to Taylor on a memorable night for the York-born defender.
The 22-year-old became the third homegrown player to win in it the last four years, following in the footsteps of Alex Mowatt (2015) and Sam Byram (2013). It capped a memorable day for Taylor, who was also presented with the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Player of the Year award prior to the afternoon’s game with Charlton Athletic.
The full-back, United’s third-highest appearance maker this term despite missing a chunk of the season through glandular fever, has enjoyed a fine first full campaign as a regular in the side.
“I’m pleased with how my season’s been, considering everything that’s gone on,” he said.
“I do feel I’ve improved hugely since I got my chance here last season. I thought I improved massively in the year at Fleetwood but the last 18 months have been so much better.
“My all-round game, my defending and my supporting up front – I’ve contributed more in attack. But I think a few of us have had good seasons here.”
For the Young Player of the Year award, Cook beat off competition from Mowatt and Lewie Coyle to retain the trophy he first collected 12 months earlier. The midfielder has continued to go from strength to strength this season, underlined by his taking of the Goal of the Year award – after stating adding goals to his game was his main aim this time last year.
Cook’s long-range strike against Fulham was voted the winner ahead of eye-catching efforts from Chris Wood (vs Derby County), Mowatt (vs Cardiff City and vs Huddersfield Town) and Dallas (second goal vs Birmingham City). There was also an honourable mention on the night for Sol Bamba, whose spectacular strike in the recent victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers just came a week too late to make the original shortlist.
Eslewhere, Dallas came out on top in a confidential vote between the squad at Thorp Arch to claim the Players’ Player of the Year award after making a big impression during his debut season at the club.
Keep an eye here on leedsunited.com over the coming days for exclusive photos and reaction to the End of Season Awards Dinner.
The Leeds United 2015/16 Award winners are:
Player of the Year: Charlie Taylor
Young Player of the Year: Lewis Cook
Players’ Player of the Year: Stuart Dallas
Goal of the Year: Lewis Cook vs Fulham
Bobby Collins Unsung Hero: Mandy Ward, Leeds United Ticket Office