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Ritchie and Lascelles joint winners of award

Written by Dan King

Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie are the joint winners of the North East Football Writers Association's player of the year award.

The Newcastle United pair made a huge contribution to last season's Sky Bet Championship title win and will share the trophy after more than 30 journalists in the region could not separate them. 

They will receive the award - sponsored by William Hill - at The North East Football Writers Association's annual player of the year dinner at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf Club and Spa in Durham on Sunday, 11th February 2018. 

Previous winners of the award include Alan Shearer, Kevin Keegan, Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle and Shay Given.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benítez said: "I think that both played really well for us. It was a great season last season and this year they have started really well.

"I am not surprised you have given them that award. They represent the pride and the passion and the commitment that everybody is expecting from Newcastle players. They are a good example of that."

The award has been shared twice before - in 1987, United duo David McCreery and Neil McDonald were joint winners while Sunderland's Nyron Nosworthy and Dean Whitehead claimed it in 2007.

Former Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has retained the young player of the year award while Victoria Williams of Sunderland is the ladies player of the year.

Awards will also be presented to Jermain Defoe, Blyth Spartans, Spennymoor Town and South Shields.

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