Leeds United's Lewis Cook has been named The Football League Young Player of the Year at The Football League Awards 2016.Cook, who succeeds last year’s winner Dele Alli, 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.
Cook beat competition from some of the other brightest prospects in the League, Fulham’s Moussa Dembele and Walsall’s Rico Henry, to claim the overall Football League Young Player of the Year Award.
Cook, who was the recipient of the Championship Apprentice of the Year at last year’s Football League Awards, has had another outstanding season for Leeds United. At just 19 years old, the talented Yorkshireman has continued to make impressive progress, enhancing his burgeoning reputation and winning plaudits across the division for his midfield displays.
Presented to the best player in The Football League under the age of 21, or in the season in which he turns 21, the Young Player of the Year award celebrates the emergence of young playing talent at The League’s 72 clubs.
Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £60m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent. Cook follows a list of previous recipients who have gone on to be stars of the game – as well as last year’s winner Alli, the likes of Gareth Bale and Wilfried Zaha are former recipients of the award.
Over the moon to be named @football_league Young player of the Year. Want to thank everyone for all the kind messages, really appreciate it😊— Lewis Cook (@lewiscook_) April 17, 2016
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.”
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.