The 36th star-studded PFA Awards dinner took place at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Sunday night, where Ryan Giggs was named Players’ Player of the Year and Ashley Young was acknowledged as the Young Player of the Year.
Manchester United legend and record appearance holder Giggs was honoured by his fellow professionals, the greatest individual accolade a player can receive.
Giggs faced tough competition in the voting from fellow teammates Rio Ferdinand, Edwin Van Der Sar, Nemanja Vidic and last year’s Players’ Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo along with Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.
Gordon Taylor, PFA Chief Executive, paid his own tribute to the main award winner, saying:
“Ryan, who was voted Young Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993, may have thought that the opportunity to win the Players’ Player of the Year award had possibly passed him by as he enters the twilight of his wonderful career.”
“But just like a good wine, he gets better with age and his award is a testimony to both his longevity and professionalism. Whilst some players have had problems that have been highlighted in the media, Ryan has always conducted himself, and looked after himself, with supreme professionalism.”
Having enjoyed a magnificent season with Aston Villa, Ashley Young was honoured at the dinner and named PFA Young Player of the Year.
He too faced strong competition from the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor, Jonny Evans, Stephen Ireland, Aaron Lennon and Rafael da Silva – but came out on top.
In paying tribute to the Young Player of the Year, Gordon added:
“Villa manager Martin O’Neill deserves so much credit for not only giving young, home-grown talent a chance, but keeping faith with them and Young and Agbonlahor are the jewels in the Villa crown, along with the likes of Curtis Davies, and several others.”
After picking up his Young Player award, Ashley also paid tribute to his manager, Martin O’Neill, and his teammates at Aston Villa.
“This is a massive achievement for me and is a reflection of the season we have had at Villa.”