2013/14 END OF SEASON AWARDS: AS IT HAPPENED 2013/14 END OF SEASON AWARDS: AS IT HAPPENED
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2013/14 END OF SEASON AWARDS: AS IT HAPPENED

As we reach the end of the 2013-2014 Sky Bet Football League season, Walsall Football Club bring the curtain down on their League One campaign with the traditional 'End of Season Awards'.
As we reach the end of the 2013-2014 Sky Bet Football League season, Walsall Football Club bring the curtain down on their League One campaign with the traditional 'End of Season Awards'.

This years event which includes the usual pre-awards' Prize Casino, speeches and four-course meal, will see nine awards presented including Player, Goal and Young Player of the Season...

At the beginning of the evening's ceremony, club Chaplain Peter Hart, who won the Player of the Season Award in 1981/82, said grace.

Other, more recent winners of the prestigious Player of the Season Award include, Will Grigg 2012/13, Andy Butler 2011/12 & 2010.11, Troy Deeney 2009/10 and Clayton Ince 2008/09.

Walsall legend Tony Richards was the first recipient, Bob Wesson was the first player to win the award twice - in 1968/69 and 1970/71. Alan Buckley is also a two-time winner (1973/74 & 1975/76).

The first player to win the Player of the Season award in successive seasons was Adrian Viveash (1995/96 & 1996/97).

Colin Harrison also won the award twice, but almost a decade apart, in 1971/72 and 1980/81.

The only other player to win the Player of the Season Award in successive seasons is current club captain Andy Butler (2010/11 and 2011/12).

Roy Whalley handled the introductions as the guests began their first course.

After the first course, Head of Youth Development Neil Woods gave a speech, in which he said; "This club has a philosophy of producing our own (players) and we do that." When speaking of this season's success at the Academy, he went on to say "There has been a lot of hard work from a dedicated group of people. The strength of this club is the philosophy of producing our own players. The attitude and work ethic has been fantastic."

Following the main course, first-team coach Richard O'Kelly arrived on stage, he spoke about the philosophy at the club, praising the long-term vision; "Some clubs change their philosophy every three months. Here, we know how we want to do things."

He continued; "This club is committed to a long-term philosophy that we will stay with through thick and thin." When discussing his relationship with Dean Smith, he said; "We see things similar but not the same. We have the same philosophies, though."

Following dessert and a pre-emptive DJ, who played Hi-Ho Silver Lining by mistake, Walsall manager Dean Smith took to the stage and spoke of his pride at working with such a good backroom, he said; "Nights like this bring all the unsung heroes together", He also praised the work Physio Jon Whitney has done with the team.

Smith went on to say, "We know that we have made progress as a club and team this season. There have been some outstanding performances - We've had plenty of plaudits from other clubs and we take great pride in that. Opposition managers often praise Walsall as the best team they've played."

Comedian Billy Flywheel entertained the audience, his on-stage victims included Saddlers' Director Leigh Pomlett and Ben Purkiss. Dean Smith, Dean Holden, Richard O'Donnell and Craig Westcarr were also amongst a group to be put to work by Billy.

Before the awards were dished out, we take a moment to remember those who can sadly no-longer be with us including Saddlers legends Bert Williams and John Christie.

The awards were as follows;

Community Player of the Season is awarded to; Ben Purkiss.

Long Service Award is awarded to; Former groundsman, Roger Johnson.

Fan of the Season is awarded to; Lifelong Saddler, David Evans.

Goal of the Season; Andy Taylor, for his free kick Vs Colchester United in October.

Apprentice of the Season is awarded to; Liam Kinsella.

Players' Player of the Season is awarded to; Richard O'Donnell. (2nd: Adam Chambers; 3rd: Sam Mantom).

Young Player of the Season is awarded to; Malvind Benning.

Player of the Season is awarded to; Sam Mantom. (2nd: Adam Chambers, 3rd: Richard O'Donnell, 4th: James Chambers, Andy Butler & Romaine Sawyers).

Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to; Mick Kearns.
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