GERRARD NAMED FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR
Steven Gerrard is celebrating today after being named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.
The Liverpool skipper beat off competition from Manchester United pair Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney to win the most prestigious individual award in English football.
Having already landed the PFA Fans Player of the Year award this season, the FWA honour caps another incredible campaign for the 28-year-old midfielder, who has led by example and driven his side to within touching distance of achieving their title dreams.
Whether those dreams are realised over the next week or not remains to be seen, but over the course of the past ten months Gerrard has once again cemented his standing as the finest midfielder in European football.
His two goals at West Ham United on Saturday - which temporarily fired Liverpool back to the top of the league - saw him climb above Ian St John in the club's all-time scoring charts as he took his tally for the season to an impressive 23, equalling his best ever return in a red shirt.
Fifteen of his goals this term have arrived in the Premier League and have included strikes in high-profile games against Manchester United and Everton, while in Europe he also rose to the occasion with five goals in the group stages - including his 100th goal for Liverpool against PSV Eindhoven - and then two more against Real Madrid in the last sixteen clash at Anfield.
"We are delighted to honour Steven's contribution this season with our prestigous award," said Steve Bates, National Chairman of the Football Writers' Association.
"Steven has had a fantastic season and has so often been the driving force behind Liverpool's forceful challenge for the Barclays Premier League title.
"His passion and desire to send the title race into the closing days of this campaign has underpinned Liverpool's pursuit of Manchester United and he has frequently caught the eye with outstanding performances which have showcased his considerable talent.
"Steven is viewed by the Football Writers who voted as the heartbeat of Liverpool's team and a player who gives everything for the cause.
"He beat off a strong challenge from Old Trafford stars Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to emerge as a clear winner and he follows a long and illustrious list of British and European footballers to win the vote of the Football Writers."
Steven will be presented with his award at a gala dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Friday May 29.