Young Bristol City fan Oskar Pycroft has been named the Capital One Supporter of the Year at The Football League Awards 2016.The seven-year-old 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.
Oskar, who has cerebral palsy, never misses a Bristol City home match and after winning a long battle to walk, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of leading out his beloved Robins in a fixture against Preston North End in January 2016. His inspirational story has won support from fans of all corners of The Football League including local rivals Bristol Rovers who helped to raise money for his operation to help him walk.
On collecting his award, Pycroft said: “It’s a really good moment for me, I never thought I would win this. It’s just been a really tough time for me and I just want to say thank you to everyone that’s helped me.”
Oskar had already been named the Capital One Supporter of the Year for the Championship, but beat competition for the overall award from two other divisional winners – Colchester United supporter Tommy Leggett (League 1) and Yeovil Town fan Pat Custard (League 2).
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.
The Football League is all about fans supporting their team. With one in four admissions to a UK sporting event in 2015 being for a Football League match there were plenty of supporters to choose from, but this award recognises someone who has added that extra special bit of devotion to their club and the game of football.
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.