The North East Football Writers’ Association raised money for the our Foundation and honoured England legend, Steph Houghton, at their annual awards night yesterday.

Held annually at Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham, the black-tie event is sponsored by William Hill and celebrates the best of North East football.

The 31-year-old England and Manchester City captain, who is from Durham, received the North East Football Writers’ Association’s Annual Awards Personality of the Year trophy, which is given in association with our Foundation.

Given to someone who uses their position in football to benefit the wider community, Steph was recognised for her role in football development, her contribution to charities and for inspiring more girls and women to take up the game.

Steph says: “This award means everything to me and I’m very proud.

“I like to think that I take being a role model for young girls and boys to start playing football seriously. And to show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard.

“You can control what you can control, which is your performance off the pitch and being a good person. And I’d like to think that’s what my career has shown over the past few years.”

Steph’s family were in the room to see her pick up the trophy and Alan Shearer and Steve Harper, both Patrons of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and previous recipients of the award, were on hand to offer their congratulations.

Other recipients of North East Football Writers’ Association awards included Men’s Player of the Year, Fabian Schar (Newcastle United), Young Player of the Year, Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) and Womens’ Player of the Year, Kathryn Hill (Durham Women FC).

Sunderland legend, Kevin Ball, received the John Fotheringham award for outstanding services to North East football.

Our thanks to the North East Football Writers’ Association and everyone involved in the night.