Demba Ba

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Leading scorer Demba Ba has made the five-man shortlist for the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2012 award.

The Magpies man is joined by Ivorian pair Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba, Morrocan star Younes Belhanda and Zambian ace Christopher Katongo.

Ba finished last season as Newcastle's top marksman with 17 goals and has eight so far this term and the winner of the award will be decided by African football fans, who have until 18.30 GMT on Thursday, 13th December to vote.

Supporters can vote online here or register their vote for Ba by texting '1' to +44 7786 20 50 74. Standard international text rates apply and texts are limited to one text per mobile phone number.

Ba was originally on a 34-man list of nominees which also included United colleagues Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote, with the striker making a ten-man shortlist announced earlier this month.

The winner will be announced on Monday, 17th December. Previous holders include Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor, Michael Essien and Jay Jay Okocha. 

Click here to buy a Newcastle United shirt with Ba's name and number on the back