Eddie Howe has been rewarded for his remarkable season with AFC Bournemouth by being named as the League Managers Association Manager of the Year.After a thrilling race for the Sky Bet Championship title, Howe's Bournemouth side claimed the crown on a dramatic last day, and his achievements were recognised by the LMA members.
Upon receiving the award, the Cherries' boss said: "I can't believe it. I'm so surprised and so grateful. You need good people around you so I'm grateful to my staff.”
It's been a long road to success for Howe and Bournemouth, with the 37-year-old spending the vast majority of his playing and managerial career with the south coast club.
“A lot had come with us on our journey from the lower leagues and we managed to get there. It's more special because it is a club where I've spent most of my career."
There were further honours awarded to a number of Football League managers throughout the evening, with Phil Parkinson picking up the gong for FA Cup Manager of the Year.
Parkinson led Bradford City on a superb run in the competition, defeating Sunderland and Chelsea en route to the sixth round, where they were eventually beaten in a replay by Reading.
Danny Wilson was inducted into the LMA Hall of Fame 1000 Club after reaching the managerial milestone in December, while there were special achievement awards for Steve Cotterill of Bristol City and Walsall's Dean Smith.
Smith was honoured after guiding the Saddlers to their first-ever Wembley appearance in their 127-year history, and Steve Cotterill was rewarded for leading Bristol City to the Sky Bet League 1 title with a mammoth 99 points. His Robins side also lifted the Johnstone's Paint Trophy this term with success over Smith's Walsall at the national stadium.
Derby County stalwart, Gordon Guthrie MBE, received the award for his services to football – Guthrie was involved with the Rams for more than six decades in a number of roles, and is still a regular fixture at the iPro on matchdays.
Howe and Cotterill doubled their tally for the evening with the Sky Bet Championship and Sky Bet League 1 Manager of the Year honours respectively, while Gareth Ainsworth received recognition for turning around the fortunes of Wycombe Wanderers when he picked up the Sky Bet League 2 award.
Tell us on Twitter who your Manager of the Year is - this is what some Hartlepool United fans think:
Who's the best manager in the Football League? pic.twitter.com/NtCam4HkMG— Hartlepool United FC (@Official_HUFC) May 2, 2015
Here are the full list of honours:
LMA Manager of the Year sponsored by Barclays: Eddie Howe – AFC Bournemouth
Barclays Premier League Manager of the Year: Jose Mourinho – Chelsea
Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Year: Eddie Howe – AFC Bournemouth
Sky Bet League 1 Manager of the Year: Steve Cotterill – Bristol City
Sky Bet League 2 Manager of the Year: Gareth Ainsworth – Wycombe Wanderers
FA Cup Manager of the Year: Phil Parkinson – Bradford City
League Managers Association Special Achievement Award: Steve Cotterill – Bristol City
League Managers Association Special Achievement Award: Dean Smith – Walsall
League Managers Association Service to football award: Gordon Guthrie MBE - Derby County
League Managers Association 1000 Club Inductee: Danny Wilson