The Gazette’s Matt Scrafton was named Football Writer of the Year at this week’s Northwest Football Awards.
READ MATT'S REPORT ON BLACKPOOL V ACCRINGTON STANLEY
The award recognised not only Matt’s coverage of Blackpool FC’s on-field exploits but also his in-depth reporting of the club’s ongoing ownership saga, involving court rulings, fan protests and the many complexities of Owen Oyston’s debts to former director Valeri Belokon.
Matt received his award from Dion Dublin in front of more than 500 guests at the star-studded ceremony hosted by Dan Walker in The Point media centre at Emirates OldTrafford.
In his acceptance speech, Matt dedicated his award to the Blackpool FC great and England captain Jimmy Armfield, who died in January.
Liverpool’s Mo Salah (Premier League Player of the Year), Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola (Manager of the Year) and broadcasting legend John Motson were among the other winners.
Special Recognition awards went to Motson and to Dick, Kerr Ladies FC, one of the first women’s teams in England who drew crowds of over 50,000 at Everton FC to raise money for wounded soldiers.
Manchester City’s Jen Beattie was Women’s Player of the Year, while Rising Star awards went to Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Niamh Charles. Fleetwood Town’s Ash Hunter was a Rising Star nominee.
Fans voted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s strike against Manchester City the Goal of the Year in a category which also included Conor McAleny of Fleetwood for his goal against Oxford.
The Lifetime Contribution award went to former Everton player and manager Colin Harvey, and Danny Ings took the Impact Award for his support of disability sport.
Other Player of the Year awards went to Bolton’s Ben Alnwick (Championship), Wigan’s Nathan Byrne (League One), Accrington’s Billy Kee (League Two) and Tranmere’s Connor Jennings (National League).
AFC Fylde’s Zaine Francis-Angol was shortlisted in the latter category, with Fylde Ladies’ Jenna Carroll and Sophie Charlton nominated for Women’s Player of the Year and Rising Star respectively.