Jamie Vardy has been named the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year for 2016.
Vardy received 36 per cent of the votes cast to triumph over Leicester City team-mates Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante.
The striker has scored 22 goals in the Premier League this season to put Claudio Ranieri’s men – who were pre-season relegation candidates – on the brink of a stunning title success.
This season also saw the 29-year-old set a new Premier League record by scoring in 11 consecutive matches, beating the previous landmark held by Ruud van Nistelrooy.
England international Vardy wins the award after an astonishing rise having still played non-league football as recently as 2012.
He said: “It’s a great honour to win such a prestigious award and to have my name added to a list of previous winners that includes some unbelievable players. Thank you to the Football Writers’ Association and to everyone that voted.
“Thank you, also, to my team-mates, who are the reason I’ve been able to achieve anything. It’s been an amazing season for all of us at Leicester, based on team-work, not individuals, which you can see in the voting.
“Thanks also to the manager, all the staff and the fans for their support. We’re all totally focused on getting over the line in the final two weeks of the season and turning a great season into one we’ll never forget.
“Hopefully I can contribute to that and, if selected, carry some good form into the Euros this summer.”
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 2, 2016
His success makes it an award double for Leicester after the league leaders celebrated Mahrez winning the PFA Player of the Year award, with Vardy finishing second on that occasion.
Like Mahrez’s victory, Vardy’s success is the first time a Leicester player has won the accolade, with the FWA award running since 1948.
Vardy follows on from star trio Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard, who had won the award – which is voted for by around 400 football journalists – in the previous three years.