Burnley's Andre Gray has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year at The Football League Awards 2016 following a vote among club managers.Gray received the award at the gala ceremony at Manchester Central on Sunday evening in front of over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
The Football League Awards 2016 was being hosted in Manchester for the first time, the same city in which The Football League was officially formed 128 years ago to the day. In its 11th year, the awards ceremony celebrates on and off pitch excellence across The League’s 72 clubs.
Gray beat competition from Brentford’s Alan Judge and Fulham’s Ross McCormack to claim the overall Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year Award. It was a night of celebration for the 24-year-old as he was also named in The Football Manager Team of the Season, comprised of players from The Football League’s three divisions.
The striker has been central to the Clarets’ promotion push. In his first season at Turf Moor, Gray has scored 22 goals in 37 games for Burnley to add to the two goals he scored for Brentford in August to put him top of the Sky Bet Championship goalscorer charts.
The Sky Bet Player of the Year awards where 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: "During another action-packed Football League season it is important to acknowledge outstanding performances, both on and off the pitch.
“We’re delighted to recognise this special group of nominees who have shown exceptional levels of talent, dedication and achievement. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and particularly our winners, all of whom are deserving of their accolade.”
Gillingham’s Bradley Dack was named Sky Bet League 1 Player of the Year, while Kemar Roofe of Oxford United won the Sky Bet League 2 award. The Football League Young Player of the Year award, won last year by Dele Alli, was this year given to Leeds United’s Lewis Cook. Northampton Town’s Chris Wilder was named as the season’s best manager as part of the Football Manager Team of the Season.
Other awards handed out on the night recognised off the field achievements by players and clubs, while the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award was given to former Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies. The Contribution to League Football award was presented to The Football League’s Chief Operating Officer, Andy Williamson OBE, in recognition of his lifetime’s commitment to the game.
All the news, reaction and photos from the awards can be found via The Football League’s Twitter page, @football_league, while the awards ceremony was also broadcast live on The Football League’s YouTube channel.
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of award winners, visit www.FLAwards.com or search #FLAwards on Twitter.