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Burnley FC Supporters’ Groups held their annual player of the year evening this week and it was very much an occasion for goalkeepers, past and present, who dominated the evening.

Nick Pope made his league debut for Burnley as recently as September this season when he came on as a substitute for the injured club captain Tom Heaton, the 2017 winner, in the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace. Tom’s long enforced absence gave Pope, who we’d signed for Charlton in the summer of 2016, his opportunity and how he’s taken it with a string of fine performances that won him a recent call up to the England squad.

poty2018 1 500x500He dominated the evening, winning 11 of the 13 player of the year awards from the various supporters’ clubs, a run only interrupted by Steven Defour and Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson who won the awards from London and Colne Clarets respectively. And, to cap it off, he won the overall player of the year award which is voted on the night.

There were also awards for Sean Dyche, James Tarkowski and Billy Mercer whilst the goal of the season awards were shared between Jeff Hendrick and Ashley Barnes for their goals at Everton and West Brom, Barnes winning the overall award which, like the player of the year, is voted on the night.

It was another fantastic night with the manager hinting that we might be seeing his team playing games next season in other European countries as he thanked those present, and the Burnley fans in general, for their continued support this season.

The only disappointment on the night was that the special achievement award winner wasn’t able to attend due to illness. This year the award went to former goalkeeper Colin McDonald who was the last Burnley player to represent England in a World Cup Finals, that coming in Sweden in 1958, sixty years ago.

Tom Heaton accepted the award on the night. We’d hoped he might be able to visit Colin at a later date and present the award but Tom and Sean Dyche came up with a much better idea. Colin, when well again, will be invited to the training ground to receive the award from Tom.

Thanks to Meg Steele (Central Lancs Clarets) for the photographs in this article.

The Winners

Skipton Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope

Melbourne Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope
Magic Moments – Sean Dyche

Accrington Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope
Goal of the Season – Ashley Barnes v West Brom
Special Award – James Tarkowski, first England cap

Earby Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope

Rossendale Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope

West Yorkshire Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope
Champagne Moment – Jeff Hendrick, finishing the brilliant move for goal at Everton
Roger Howarth Unsung Hero Award – Billy Mercer

London Clarets
Player of the Year – Steven Defour

Central Lancs Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope
Goal of the Season – Jeff Hendrick v Everton

Disabled Supporters Group
Player of the Year – Nick Pope

Colne Clarets
Player of the Year – Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson

North Manchester Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope

Boundary Clarets
Player of the Year – Nick Pope
Goal of the Season – Ashley Barnes v West Brom

Burnley Football Supporters’ Club
Player of the Year – Nick Pope
Away Player of the Year – James Tarkowski
Goal of the Season – Ashley Barnes v West Brom

Special Achievement Award
COLIN McDONALD

OVERALL GOAL OF THE SEASON
ASHLEY BARNES v WEST BROM

OVERALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
NICK POPE
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