Fabricio Coloccini was presented with the 2011 North East Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year award on Sunday night, following Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
Fab Coloccini – receiving Footballer of the Year award on Sunday night
Coloccini, who turned 30 last month, was voted by the region’s press as their footballer of the year and received the trophy at a ceremony at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham on Sunday evening.
Cheick Tiote, who is currently on Ivory Coast duty in the African Cup of Nations – his side will play Mali in Libreville tomorrow night in the semi-finals – was second in the voting, and Sunderland left-back Phil Bardsley came in third.
Coloccini talked to the Newcastle site yesterday following the award dinner on Sunday evening:
“I was very pleased to receive the award last night, following in the footsteps of such Newcastle greats as Peter Beardsley, Alan Shearer and Shay Given,”
“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me, it really was a great honor for me.”
“Coming on the back of a good win for us against Aston Villa, it made for a tremendous day for me, and I want to share this with my family, teammates, everyone at the Club and the fans.”
The event was postponed from Sunday November 27th, because that was the day when the sad news broke that former Newcastle midfielder Gary Speed was dead and had seemingly committed suicide.
An inquest into Speed’s death on Monday, Janaury 30th ruled that Speed died by hanging but the coroner, Nicholas Rheinberg, also said “the evidence does not sufficiently determine whether this was intentional or accidental”.
And in recording a narrative verdict, which does not apportion any blame, the coroner said Speed may have “nodded off” while sitting with a cable around his neck on the stairs in the garage of his home.
Warm tributes were paid to the 42 year-old former Welsh manager and Newcastle midfielder on Sunday night.