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Double Delight For Award Winner Pope

Goalkeeper Nick Pope tops vote from players and fans as Clarets celebrate magical season

7 May 2018

Nick Pope has been crowned the Clarets’ Player of the Year.

And to cap an outstanding first season as a Premier League regular, the Clarets’ goalkeeper also picked up the award as the club’s Players’ Player of the Year.

Pope topped a pole of thousands of votes cast by supporters via the club’s official website to win the overall player of the year prize from a shortlist including Ashley Barnes, James Tarkowski and Ben Mee.

And his performances this season – which have seen the 26-year-old keep 12 clean sheets to help the Clarets earn a place in the Europa League and receive his first call-up to the full England squad – also earned him the recognition of his team-mates as he was honoured at the Clarets’ Player of the Year awards night at Turf Moor.

Pope said: “It’s something I could never have imagined. It’s been an unbelievable year.

“No player, fan or pundit could have imagined we’d be sitting here in seventh place with Europe guaranteed.

Rita Seymour of NVM Solutions Ltd presents Steven Defour with his goal of the season award

“It’s a massive achievement, so to be here with these awards I’m massively proud.

“It’s a team effort, people off the bench and the squad as well.

“The players and the staff – particularly goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer - have looked after me down to a man.

“They are the ones in front of me putting their bodies on the line on a Saturday or helping me out. I can’t thank them enough.

“The supporters as well. It makes a massive difference to a player when you know you’ve got the fans on side.

“From day one they’ve been on my side and supported me and the team, so I can’t thank them enough.”

A celebration evening attended by almost 900 supporters saw Steven Defour win the Goal of the Season award for his magnificent free-kick in the Clarets’ Boxing Day draw at Manchester United.

Defour’s strike led the vote taken on the evening from a magnificent top 10 of goals which lit up the Clarets’ campaign.

Dwight McNeil was named Young Player of the Year after an impressive season which has seen the attacking midfielder, 18, star for the under-23s, earn a first professional contract and also feature in the senior squad.

Centurion awards were made to Barnes and Stephen Ward, who both made their 100th appearances for the club during a season which will see Sean Dyche’s side finish seventh in the Premier League to take Burnley into Europe for the first time in 51 years.

Barnes and Chris Wood are both vying to finish the season as top scorer, Wood collecting the leading scorer award which will be shared unless the New Zealand international returns from injury to add to his 10 goals in next Sunday’s finale against Bournemouth at Turf Moor.

Barnes will miss the game after sustaining a shoulder injury in Saturday’s defeat at Arsenal, which prevented the striker attending the awards dinner.

However, he did send a recorded message thanking the supporters for their backing in a historic campaign for the Clarets which was celebrated in style.

 A full review of the night and picture gallery will follow on Tuesday

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