Charlton Athletic's Ademola Lookman has been named the LFE Apprentice of the Year for the Championship at The Football League Awards 2016.Lookman 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.
Lookman beat off competition from Birmingham City’s David Popa and Preston North End’s Mathew Hudson to claim the overall LFE Apprentice of the Year for the Championship.
In an impressive season the 18 year-old rose through Charlton’s academy to make his debut for the first team in November 2015, scoring his first goal just a month later. Lookman is seen as a role model for fellow youngsters at the club and his hard work and conscientiousness has received special praise.
On winning the award, Lookman said:
“It means so much to me, I’m really proud of where I’ve come from to where I am now – it feels like a dream really.”
The award recognises the outstanding young professionals at Championship clubs who excel both on and off the pitch. Players registered as a first or second-year scholar, or as a first-year professional, were eligible and judges took into account the record of the player in all competitions since he became an apprentice as well as his educational attainment, disciplinary record and any other outstanding achievements.
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.”
Other awards recognising players for their on pitch performances include the Sky Bet Players of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Mitre Goal of the Year and Football Manager Team of the Year awards, alongside the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award. Further awards were presented for off the field achievements by players and clubs, while the prestigious Contribution to League Football award recognised an individual’s lifetime 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.