Blackpool's Jay Spearing voted The Gazette's player of the season for 2018/19 campaign
Jay Spearing has been voted Blackpool’s player of the season by The Gazette’s readers for the 2018/19 campaign.
Pool’s skipper picked up 34 per cent of the public vote from the six-man shortlist, with more than 300 Blackpool fans having their say.
Spearing beat defender Marc Bola (23 per cent) into second place, while last season’s winner Curtis Tilt finished third with 15 per cent of the vote.
It is a richly deserved accolade for Spearing in what is his first full season with the club, having joined the Seasiders halfway through last season’s campaign.
The 30-year-old has been a virtual ever-present in the centre of Blackpool’s midfield, making 49 appearances in all competitions.
He’s also finished the season among the club’s top scorers, finding the back of the net on six occasions this term.
A number of those goals have proved to be crucial ones, too, most of them coming from the penalty spot.
Spearing netted match-winning spot kicks against both Fleetwood Town and Accrington Stanley while also finding the back of the net twice in Pool’s dramatic 3-2 comeback win against Bradford City in September.
Spearing, who was presented with the accolade at last night’s awards’ evening at Bloomfield Road, told The Gazette: “It feels very good, to be honest it’s quite unexpected so I’m very pleased with it.
“It’s been a long, hard season and we’re a little bit disappointed not to make the play-off spots but as a personal accolade I’m very happy.
“I think I had a good season. I played quite a lot of games this year and even though I turned 30 in November, I don’t feel any less fitter and I feel having a full pre-season behind me this year was exactly what I needed.
“My goals tally has gone up this year which, while most of them were penalties, you’ve still got to put them in the back of the net and thankfully I’ve managed to do that.
“I’m very, very pleased and for me personally as captain it was an honour to lead this club week in, week out.”
The former Liverpool man, who has experience of playing in both the Premier League and Champions League, has brought both quality and know-how to Blackpool’s midfield.
He started in inspired form after enjoying his first full pre-season with the club and maintained that consistency throughout the campaign.
A natural leader, Spearing is a huge influence inside the Blackpool dressing room but has also played a pivotal role off the field this season in rekindling that connection with the fans that have recently returned from the boycott.
Elsewhere, Marc Bola was the big winner as he claimed both the club’s Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the season awards.
Curtis Tilt claimed the Goal of the Season for his stunning last-minute overhead kick in the dramatic 2-2 draw at home to Plymouth Argyle in March.
On-loan Sheffield United defender Ben Heneghan picked up both BSA's and Radio Wave’s player of the season gong, while Nathan Delfouneso claimed the Player in the Community award.
Nathan Shaw was the youth team’s Player of the Season.