Arch rivals West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers enjoyed success at Sunday night’s Football League Awards 2008 held at the London Hilton.
The Baggies’ Kevin Philips won the FourFourTwo magazine Football League Player of the Year Award. An Albion player has now won the top player award in two successive years, after Jason Koumas won the 2007 award.
Former England striker, Phillips, 34, has been the Championship’s top scorer this campaign with 16 goals and has contributed to his teams phenomenal 70 goals in 34 league games making Albion top scorers in all four divisions.
Wolves winger Michael Kightly who turned 22 in January picked up the Young Player of the Year title. Ironically, Kightly has only featured fleetingly since November when he injured his ankle in the goalless derby draw at The Hawthorns.
Albion have five other players in the FourFourTwo Football League top 50: captain Jonathan Greening (4th), his midfield partner Robert Koren (11th), Hungarian Zoltan Gera (10th), left-back stalwart Paul Robinson (20th) and Portuguese wing wizard Filipe Teixeira (41st).
The Molineux contingent in the top 50 players, along with Kightly (3rd), are: striker Andy Keogh (18th), Saturday’s match winner at Colchester Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (26th) and Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (22nd), following an impressive 16 Championship clean sheets, the division’s highest.
Other Midlanders featuring in the 50 best are Coventry City’s Maltese marksman Michael Mifsud (9th) and Walsall centre back Anthony Gerrard (49th), cousin of England and Liverpool legend Steven.
FourFourTwo.com revealed Kevin Philips delight at picking up the top award. “It’s one of the highest accolades you can achieve in the game,” the Albion striker said.
“As much as it’s nice for the fans to recognise the job you’re doing, to have your fellow professionals voting you their top player is tremendous.
“When I returned for pre-season, I could never have envisaged a season like this, but all I’ve tried to do is enjoy my football, stay fit and score goals."
With West Bromwich Albion featuring in the play-off places in the Championship and Wolves two points off sixth, with a game in hand, both will hope the awards will be just the boost to push the teams on to the greater prizes in May.
The full FourFourTwo Football League Top 50 for 2008 are:
1. Kevin Phillips, West Brom (Football League Player of the Year)
2. Andy Gray, Charlton ?
3. Michael Kightly, Wolves (Football League Young Player of the Year)
4. Jon Greening, West Brom ?
5. Zheng Zhi, Charlton ?
6. James Beattie, Sheffield United ?
7. Clinton Morrison, Crystal Palace ?
8. Dean Windass, Hull City ?
9. Michael Mifsud, Coventry ?
10. Zoltan Gera, West Brom ?
11. Robert Koren, West Brom ?
12. David Norris, Plymouth ?
13. Adriano Basso, Bristol City ?
14. Wes Hoolahan, Blackpool ?
15. Ricardo Fuller, Stoke ?
16. Brian Howard, Barnsley ?
17. Akos Buzsaky, QPR ?
18. Andy Keogh, Wolves ?
19. Jay DeMerit, Watford ?
20. Paul Robinson, West Brom ?
21. Dan Shittu, Watford ?
22. Wayne Hennessey, Wolves ?
23. Ryan Shawcross, Stoke ?
24. Jermaine Beckford, Leeds (League One Player of the Year)
25. Chris Iwelumo, Charlton?
26. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Wolves ?
27. Jonathan Walters, Ipswich ?
28. Darius Henderson, Watford ?
29. Liam Lawrence, Stoke ?
30. Chris Dickson, Charlton ?
31. Lee Trundle, Bristol City?
32. Jason Scotland, Swansea ?
33. Lee Camp, QPR ?
34. Marvin Elliott, Bristol City ?
35. Peter Halmosi, Plymouth?
36. Joe Garner, Carlisle ?
37. Andrew Surman, Southampton ?
38. Keith Andrews, MK Dons (League Two Player of the Year) ?
39. Mark Hudson, Crystal Palace ?
40. Jack Lester, Chesterfield ?
41. Filipe Teixeira, West Brom ?
42. Aaron McLean, Peterborough
43. Joe Ledley, Cardiff City?
44. Kris Commons, Nottingham Forest?
45. Jason Puncheon, Barnet ?
46. Casper Ankergren, Leeds ?
47. Andy Robinson, Swansea?
48. Richie Wellens, Doncaster
49. Anthony Gerrard, Walsall ?
50. Derek Holmes, Rotherham