1. ITV Report

Alan Shearer honoured at annual North East Football Writers Awards

Alan Shearer was one of the big winners of the night. Credit: Sir Bobby Robson Foundation

Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer was honoured for his sporting and charitable achievements at the North East Football Writers Association's annual awards.

The Premier League's all-time top scorer was awarded the North East Personality of the Year trophy, an award given in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to recognise someone who uses their position in football to benefit the wider community.

Shearer, 48, launched his own charity - the Alan Shearer Foundation - in 2012 to support the Alan Shearer Centre in Newcastle. It provides specialist respite, residential and social care for people with complex disabilities.

On receiving the award, Shearer said it was something that gave him "immense pleasure."

He said: "It was an honour to play football for a living, now to be able to give something back with the charities I'm involved with is an even bigger honour."

Shearer added that a documentary project he worked on, which explored the connection between heading footballs and dementia, would hopefully provide answers to affected families.

He said: "To be part of the dementia documentary recently was huge for our sport and at last the research has eventually started.

"It could be pivotal for the families that have campaigned for so long to help get the answers they deserve. So, to receive this award in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation gives me immense pleasure."

The other winners on the night were:

  • Men's Player of the Year - Martin Dubravka
Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was awarded for his season's performances in goal. Credit: PA Images
  • Young Player of the Year - Josh Maja
Josh Maja was commended for his goalscoring efforts before his move to Bordeaux Credit: PA Images
  • Women's Player of the Year - Beth Hepple
Durham midfielder Beth Hepple was awarded Women's Player of the Year Credit: Sir Bobby Robson Foundation

Colin Young, secretary of the North East Football Writers' Association, said: "This is always a special night, bringing together the region's football family and celebrating the best of the game.

"The focus is often the Player of the Year awards and we were proud to honour both Martin Dubravka and Beth Hepple.

"However, it's also very important that we recognise the signifcant contributions made by dedicated individuals within the game and the wider community, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to do that last night."

The awards are held annually at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham and help raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which helps find more effective ways of detecting and treating cancer.

Previous winners of the North East Personality of the Year trophy include Niall Quinn, Robbie Elliott, Steve Harper and Jermain Defoe.

Jermain Defoe was last year's big winner after his friendship with Bradley Lowery during the little boy's battle with neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer, touched the hearts of many.