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Saint-Maximin wins North East Football Writers' Association player of the year award

Allan Saint-Maximin is the North East Football Writers' player of the year for 2021.

The Newcastle United forward narrowly beat team-mate Calum Wilson to the award voted by football journalists in the region, with Middlesbrough's Paddy McNair in third place.

Saint-Maximin is the 41st winner of the award, joining a list which includes team-mates Fabian Schär, Martin Dúbravka and Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie, who were joint winners, and former Magpies including Alan Shearer, Shay Given, Fabricio Coloccini, Les Ferdinand, Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley.

He joins a long list of French stars who have entertained and guaranteed fans rise from their seats at St James' Park and has shone, at times, in an often difficult 2021 for Newcastle.

Signed by Steve Bruce in August 2019, the 24-year-old has now made 70 Premier League appearances for the club and scored ten goals.

Durham Women's Sarah Robson is the women's player of the year after denying her Championship team-mate Beth Hepple a second win of the award.

The awards, sponsored by William Hill, will be presented on Sunday, 6th March at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa in Durham and tickets are on sale for an event which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

Last year's main winners - Middlesbrough pair Jonny Howson and Marcus Tavernier and Durham's Beth Hepple - will receive their awards on the night, as well as Sunderland's Luke O'Nien, who was named Sir Bobby Foundation personality of the year.

The charity's personality of 2021 will be announced shortly. The night will also acknowledge Hartlepool's return to the Football League, Sunderland's EFL Trophy triumph, as well as Consett and Hebburn's memorial FA Vase runs, culminating in Consett's Wembley victory over their Northern League rivals.

The NEFWA also presents the John Fotheringham and Bob Cass awards, in memory of two North East football writing legends, to recognise outstanding contributions to the region's football.

The NEFWA young player of the year award will be announced next week.

Tickets are available for the dinner and further details are available from Claire Stephen on 0191 375 3080 / claire.stephen@ramsidehallhotel.co.uk.

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