EIGHT members of the first team squad were recipients of awards at Tuesday evening’s spectacular End of Season Awards Dinner at the Britannia Stadium.
Geoff Cameron, Asmir Begovic, Charlie Adam, Peter Crouch, Oussama Assaidi, Marko Arnautovic and Marc Wilson were all deservedly rewarded for their outstanding personal campaigns at the showpiece ceremony inside the Tony Waddington Suite.
However, it was the Club’s influential skipper, Ryan Shawcross, who rounded off the evening’s festivities by scooping the most acclaimed title on offer – the Supporters Player of the Year Award.
The England international defender, who has featured in all but one of the Potters’ Premier League games this term, was the unanimous choice of the fans, who voted in their thousands to secure the 26-year-old the prestigious crown for the first time in his career.
The fact that the award was the only one registered by the captain was a reflection of the cumulative effort from Mark Hughes’ squad this campaign – one that looks set to be capped off with a first ever top-ten Premier League finish this Sunday.
Following the introduction of the first team management and players, a sumptuous four-course meal was served before the presentation awards began with American international Cameron being commended for his work in the community.
It was then Begovic’s turn to step up onto the stage for the first of his two prizes, as he and fellow Potters star Charlie Adam were named as the joint-winners of the Stoke City Supporters Clubs Player of the Season.
The Top Goalscorer Award was won for the second time in his three-year spell with the Club by Crouch, courtesy of the ten goals he has netted in league and cup competitions throughout the 2013/14 campaign thus far.
Unlike in previous years, the Goal of the Season was an incredibly tightly contested affair, but in the end the award went to on-loan Liverpool winger Assaidi for his momentous match-winning strike against Chelsea back in December – a worthy successor to Cameron Jerome’s stunner 12-months earlier.
Austrian maverick Arnautovic claimed the Young Player of the Year Award for his superb inaugural term in the Potteries, whilst Begovic received commendation from his fellow professionals by being named as the Players’ Player of the Year for the second successive season.
Marc Wilson then claimed the Coaching Staffs Club Man of the Season, before the spotlight deservedly fell on Shawcross for the climax to the evening’s proceedings.
“It’s an incredibly proud moment for me, and one that nobody can take away from me,” he commented to Stoke City Player
“It’s actually nice for somebody other than Asmir Begovic to be up here collecting this award to be honest because year after year he is deservedly collecting these awards.
“To receive the award that has been voted for by the supporters is extremely humbling. I think that they have been absolutely incredible this season, so for them to pick me for this is an incredible honour.”
By far the most emotional and touching part of the evening was when lifelong supporter Becki Taylor made her acceptance speech after being named as the Club’s Fan of the Season.
“Words can’t describe what this means to me, and to my dad,” she said.
“The last four years have been the most difficult of my life. My dad has kept me going when I was really low and coming along to Stoke City games with him has really given me something to focus on.”
COMMUNITY CHAMPION – Sponsored by The Cooperative
SUPPORTERS CLUB PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Sponsored by Stoke City Supporters Council
Asmir Begovic and Charlie Adam
TOP GOALSCORER – Sponsored by Intu Potteries
FAN OF THE SEASON – Sponsored by Carlsberg
GOAL OF THE SEASON – Sponsored by Q-railing
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Sponsored by Marstons
PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Sponsored by KMF
COACHING STAFF’S CLUB MAN OF THE SEASON – Sponsored by Listers Trade Frames
FANS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by bet365