Preston North End’s Joe Garner has been named the Sky Bet League 1 Player of the Year at The Football League Awards 2015 following a vote among club managers.Garner received the award at the gala ceremony at The Brewery, London, on Sunday evening in front of over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
The Football League Awards 2015 mark the 10th year of the awards, which celebrate on and off pitch excellence across The League’s 72 clubs. This year all 72 clubs were nominated for at least one award.
The front man beat competition from Milton Keynes Dons’ Dele Alli and Bristol City’s Luke Freeman to claim the overall Sky Bet League 1 Player of the Year Award.
A move to the club he supported as a boy as reinvigorated 27-year-old Joe Garner’s career and his sensational goal-scoring form has been the catalyst for Preston North End’s promotion challenge. Already a favourite at Deepdale after his stunning strike against Rotherham United in last season’s Play-Offs, he has been prolific this term with 22 goals under his belt. With highlights including scoring a hat-trick against Fleetwood Town and four against Crewe Alexandra in March, Garner has been the outstanding player in League 1.
Preston Chief Executive John Kay, who collected the award on behalf of Joe Garner, said: "Joe is very important. He had to work hard when he joined the club and he established himself and started scoring goals. As he scored goals, we started getting results, so he was key. He is a tallisman. When he was back fit you could tell there was a rise in the dressing room, in the lads and their confidence."
The Sky Bet Player of the Year awards have been voted for by managers of the clubs in each division. Each manager was asked to list their top five players from this season in order, with the scores added up to get a shortlist and an overall winner.
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League, said: "The 10th Football League Awards has given us the opportunity to reward outstanding performance, both on and off the pitch, during what has been a memorable Football League season.
"Each of our winners thoroughly deserves this recognition and, once again, we've seen exceptional levels of talent, dedication and achievement across all our nominees."
The Football League Awards 2015 were streamed live on The Football League's official YouTube channel and website, while highlights will be shown 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, and other social media.