Prolific striker Kevin Phillips is to receive the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award at Sunday evening’s 10th annual Football League Awards.The Award is presented by The Football League to a player who has had an outstanding career in its competitions, and was renamed permanently in honour of the Preston North End and England legend following his death in 2014.
Sir Tom’s talent, loyalty and commitment marked him out as a truly exceptional player and a model professional. The Football League is proud to honour his memory by presenting this award to those players who, like Sir Tom before them, set standards for others to aspire to.
Kevin Phillips said: “I’m extremely proud and truly privileged to accept this award and I’d like to thank The Football League, which has given me so many fantastic memories during my 20 years as a professional footballer. It’s all I ever wanted to be, I devoted my life to it and the game has given me so much in return.
“It’s a bit more special that the award is now so closely associated to Sir Tom Finney – one of the greatest players, gentlemen and role models English football has ever seen. If my career can help inspire a fraction of the people Sir Tom’s did, I’ll count it among my finest achievements.”
Kevin retired as a player at the end of last season after a memorable playing career that saw him score 272 goals in 660 senior appearances. A three-time winner of The Football League Championship, Kevin won promotion to the top flight on five occasions, including in his final two seasons as a player.
In a career spanning two decades, Kevin played for Watford, Sunderland, Southampton, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Blackpool and Crystal Palace – scoring goals wherever he went. It was his extra-time penalty for Crystal Palace in the 2013 Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley that fired the Eagles to the Premier League. He then finished his playing days on a high by helping Leicester City win the Sky Bet Championship title last season.
Kevin also represented England on eight occasions, and in 1999/00 his 30 top-flight goals for the Sunderland saw him become the only Englishman to have won the European Golden Boot. He is a previous winner at the Football League Awards, having been named Championship Player of the Year in 2008.
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League, said: "This award is made to a player that sets the standard for others to aspire to and Kevin Phillips is a worthy winner.
"He has enjoyed a fabulous playing career and has been a credit to himself and his profession.
"It is no exaggeration to say that virtually every club in The Football League would have wanted Kevin in their squad at any point in his professional career."
The Football League Awards take place on Sunday evening at The Brewery in London when among the awards to be presented will be those for the best player in each division of the Sky Bet Football League. Fans can watch the Awards ceremony live on The Football League’s YouTube channel from 8:30pm at http://po.st/FLAwardsLIVE. Highlights of the event will also be broadcast on Sky Sports 1 on Monday evening at 6:15pm and 9:15pm.
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of Award categories, please visit www.FLAwards.com or search for #FLAwards on Twitter.