Jordan Henderson was recognized for his outstanding season on and off the pitch by being named FWA Footballer of the Year.
He becomes the 12th Liverpool player to claim the individual award and the first since Mohamed Salah just two years ago.
The Reds captain beat the competition of his own teammates, including Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane, as well as Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and Marcus Rashford, to cap an extraordinary 12-month spell.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson named FWA Footballer of the Year
Henderson inspired Liverpool to their first league title since 1990 this season
His form saw him win ahead of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne
The Premier League champions dominated the vote but Henderson still got more than a quarter of the vote.
HOW SPORTSMAIL CALLS IT
If he were to maintain the levels he found so exciting – don’t forget that last week England fans recognized him as Player of the Year for 2019 – the Premier League title may not be. not be the only trophy he lifts. Don’t be surprised if the gong comes its way.
READ – Why Jordan Henderson should be Player of the Year
In addition to the top five from Henderson, De Bruyne, Rashford, Van Dijk and Mane, 10 other players received votes from FWA members including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Raheem Sterling, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Sergio Aguero, Adama Traore, Danny Ings, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Jonny Evans.
Henderson’s charitable work off the pitch hasn’t gone unnoticed, either.
The 30-year-old launched the #playerstogether initiative at the height of the coronavirus crisis to “Distribute money where it is most needed” in the fight against the global pandemic.
Henderson paid tribute to his teammates again by following in the footsteps of Salah, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez in claiming the prize.
He said: “I would like to say how grateful I am for the support of those who voted for me and for the Football Writers’ Association in general.
You only have to look at the former winners, who I had the chance to play with here in Liverpool, like Stevie (Gerrard), Luis (Suarez) and Mo (Salah) to know how prestigious he is. .
“But as grateful as I am, I don’t feel like I can accept this on my own. I don’t feel like everything I’ve accomplished this season or in fact my entire career has been done by myself.
“I owe a lot to so many different people – but no more than my current teammates – who have just been amazing and deserve it as much as I do.
“We only achieved what we did because every member of our team was brilliant. And not just in matches. Not just by producing the moments that make the headlines and the last pages but every day in training.
Henderson was also recognized for his active work off the pitch in the coronavirus crisis
Henderson helped set up the #playerstogether charity fund for the NHS
Henderson kisses manager Jurgen Klopp after successful Liverpool campaign
“The players who have started the most games for us this season have been as good as they have been because of our culture and our environment at Melwood. No one is responsible for this – it’s a collective effort and that’s how I see accepting this honor.
LAST FIVE WINNERS
2018-19: Raheem Sterling (Man City)
2017-18: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
2016-17: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
2015-16: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)
2014-15: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
“I accept it on behalf of this whole team, because without them, I am not able to receive this honor. These guys made me a better player – a better leader and a better person.
I hope those who voted for me did so in part to recognize the contribution of the whole team.
“The individual rewards are nice and special and I will cherish this one. But an individual award without the collective achievement would mean nowhere so much to me – if at all.
FWA President Carrie Brown praised Henderson for his excellent work off the pitch: “Leadership is intangible and often impossible to quantify unless it is indisputable. Jordan Henderson is both the ultimate professional and now a true Liverpool legend.
Jordan is a player his teammates look for on the pitch and his rivals admire outside.
“The criteria for voting for the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year is one that leads by precept and example and in this country’s darkest moment, Jordan, without an invitation, personally rallied the club captains to create #PlayersTogether.
“Millions of pounds have been raised for the NHS and #PlayersTogether is now a collective power base established for players to engage in campaigns, which is not more evident in the ongoing and powerful anti-racism campaign # BlackLivesMatter.
Henderson celebrates one of his four Premier League goals this season with Roberto Firmino
Henderson kisses Premier League trophy after receiving it from Sir Kenny Dalglish
A statement, sent by the Premier League captains, said the funds would go to “those who fight for us on the NHS frontline as well as in other key areas of need”.
On the pitch, Henderson has been an inspiration, coaxing his Liverpool team-mates to clinch their first league title in 30 years.
Henderson has scored four times in 30 appearances but has been a talismanic figure in raising the standards of his teammates to secure the first league title in Premier League history.
Liverpool’s triumph has been confirmed with seven games to lose, despite the three-month hiatus caused by the Covid-19 outbreak in March.
De Bruyne of Manchester City was the other outstanding candidate to win the award.
The Belgian has had a strong campaign despite City struggles, returning a harvest of 11 goals and 22 assists so far.