Curtis Tilt voted The Gazette's 2017/18 player of the season

Curtis Tilt claimed three of the awards on offer
Curtis Tilt claimed three of the awards on offer

Blackpool defender Curtis Tilt has been voted The Gazette’s player of the season for the 2017/18 campaign.

The centre back picked up more than a third of the public vote (34 per cent) based on our six-man shortlist, with hundreds of Blackpool fans having their say.

Tilt is presented with his award by Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton

Tilt is presented with his award by Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton

He beat goalkeeper Joe Lumley (who polled 20.3 per cent) into second place, while his centre back partner Clark Robertson finished third with 19.8 per cent of all votes cast.

It is a richly deserved accolade for 26-year-old Tilt, who has enjoyed a superb first season as a Football League player having joined from National League outfit AFC Wrexham during the summer.

A late developer, Tilt has had no problem acclimatising to the step-up in quality, putting in a string of man of the match displays.

Tilt has been a virtual ever-present for Pool, only missing two League One games through suspension.

Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton said: ““Both Tilt and his centre back partner Clark Robertson have been Blackpool’s standout performers this season and both would have been worthy winners of the award.

“But I agree with the voters as I felt Tilt just edged it due to the impressive nature in which he’s stepped up from part-time football to become one of Blackpool’s most important players.

“He’s hardly put a foot wrong this season, dominating opposition strikers with his strength and pace and mopping up at the back with his superb reading of the game.

“If we’re being highly critical, Tilt will no doubt want to add more goals to his game as he’s only scored one this season - something I’m sure Robertson will be reminding him of!”

Tilt picked up his gong at Blackpool’s end-of-season awards presentation, which was held at Bloomfield Road this evening.

There he also picked up the BSA and Radio Wave player of the year awards.

But it was Robertson who picked up the main club award, the John Schofield Memorial Trophy, an award also voted for by Blackpool fans.

Ollie Turton was voted the players’ player of the year by his teammates.

The evening began with a speech by club chairwoman Natalie Christoper.

She said: "All I really want to say is thank you to everybody in this room for their continued support.

"It has been a turbulent time and it's not been easy, but the heart of the club is still here thanks to the manager and the players.

"We are so lucky to have such a wonderful group of people and we owe such gratitude to them all.

"We are finishing in such a good spot, we nearly got there didn't we? We nearly made the play-offs. But I think we have got a really positive future."

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer added: "It's been a hard season, it's been tough.

"But the players have been fantastic and they deserve all the praise. I don't think they get the credit they fully deserve.

"But I can not wait for the season to finish now, I've got a holiday to go on. The players deserve a break as well as we didn't get much of one last season.

"The team has been very consistent this season with their performances."

A cheque for £13,158.59 was handed over to Trinity Hospice, with the money coming from the proceeds of ticket and programme sales for the Jimmy Armfield memorial match.

Jimmy's sons John and Duncan were on hand to pass over the cheque after a touching tribute had been played over the screens.

Full list of award winners:

Top scorer: Kyle Vassell (11 goals)

Player in the community: Nathan Delfouneso

BSA player of the season: Curtis Tilt

Radio Wave player of the season: Curtis Tilt

Goal of the season: Kelvin Mellor vs Rotherham United

The Gazette player of the season: Curtis Tilt

Chris Muir Memorial Trophy (Youth team player of the season): Will Avon

Players’ player of the year: Ollie Turton

John Schofield Memorial Trophy (Player of the season): Clark Robertson