Tottenham’s Son Heung-min scooped the top gong at Thursday night’s London Football Awards.
The South Korea international has been a key man for Spurs this season, scoring 16 times and providing nine assists in 34 appearances.
Son, who also helped his country win a gold medal at last year’s Asian Games, pipped Spurs team-mate Harry Kane, Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard to win the award, which was voted for by a panel of 22 experts, including Bobby Zamora, Bob Wilson and Tony Cottee.
Son was presented with his award by Tottenham legend David Ginola, who was accompanied at the event by girlfriend Maeva Denat.
‘It means a lot,’ said a beaming Son. ‘For me, it’s special, my first award (of this kind). Many players have not won this trophy so for me it’s really, really special, especially because such big names have won this award (in the past). It means a lot and I’m very happy to win.’
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was crowned manager of the year, with Osvaldo Ardiles having the honour of giving him the award.
Watford’s Ben Foster was celebrated as the goalkeeper of the year, while Arsenal’s Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema was hailed women’s player of the year.
Brentford’s Neal Maupay walked away with the Football League player of the year trophy, beating competition from QPR midfielder Luke Freeman and Millwall striker Lee Gregory, as well as Charlton pair Karlan Grant and Lyle Taylor.
Frenchman Maupay has been in fine scoring form for Brentford this season. He has hit the net 22 times in all competitions, with 19 coming in the Championship.
Thursday’s awards ceremony was attended by some big names, including Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson.
One of Hodgson’s players won the goal of the season prize as Andros Townsend was rewarded for his spectacular strike at Manchester City in December.
West Ham’s Declan Rice scooped the young player of the year award. The 20-year-old, who has started 25 Premier League games this season, said upon collecting his trophy: ‘It’s a huge honour to be here tonight and it’s very special for me to have this award in my hands.
‘I want to say thank you to my manager, Manuel Pellegrini, for believing in me and trusting me this season, and giving me the opportunity.
‘I also want to thank my team-mates and my family; my mum, dad, brothers, and girlfriend, because without them I wouldn’t be here today.’
Chelsea claimed the award for the community project of the year. Club chairman Bruce Buck collected the prize for the Chelsea Foundation’s ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign.
Club legends representing all of the capital’s big sides were in attendance. Former right back Lee Dixon and goalkeeping icon David Seaman were among the famous Arsenal names on show.
Tottenham favourite Pat Jennings was also at the party, along with West Ham royalty Carlton Cole and Stuart Pearce.
Kelly Smith, who won four Women’s Premier League titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal, was at Battersea Evolution too.