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Dúbravka receives North East Football Writers' Association player of the year award

Written by Dan King

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka was presented with the North East Football Writers' Association player of the year award at a star-studded ceremony on Sunday evening.

The Slovakia international followed in the footsteps of the likes of Alan Shearer, Kevin Keegan, Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle and Shay Given in winning the award, which is now in its 39th year. Last season, Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie were joint winners of the trophy.

Shearer attended this year's event at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf Club and Spa in Durham, to collect the North East Personality of the Year award, in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, in recognition of his fantastic charity and community work.

Former Sunderland foward Josh Maja win the young player of the year prize - Black Cats manger Jack Ross picked it up on his behalf following Maja's move to Bordeaux - while Beth Hepple was the women's player of the year.

Dúbravka told host Ian Dennis: "It's one year since I came here and signed a contract with an amazing club and I can't believe it, because I know that amazing players have won this trophy before. I'm happy."

Only six goalkeepers - including Shay Given on two occasions - had previously won the award, sponsored by William Hill and voted for by journalists across the region.

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