Thompson is crowned Darlington’s player of the year

First published in Darlington FC News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Sports Editor

Stephen Thompson ended a glorious season by being named as Darlington's Player of the Year last night.

He collected the most awards in the vote, held by the Supporters' Club, and collected the trophy at an awards night held at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington.

The forward was the key player as Martin Gray's team won the Northern League title, scoring 23 goals and having a hand in many others after joining from Durham City in September.

One of his stand-out performance came on Boxing Day at Norton & Stockton Ancients, a game Darlington won 4-2, but only after Thompson had put in a fine individual display which saw him level the scores at 2-2 before providing the cross from which Quakers went ahead.

The match proved to be the first of a 17-match winning run as Darlington stormed to the title with a record 122 points.

Captain Gary Brown collected the Northern League trophy after Wednesday's final game of the season against Guisborough Town, and last night he picked up more silverware, receiving the Away Player of the Year.

Jonny Davis was voted Young Player of the Year. The 21-year-old midfielder arrived midway through the season from Hebburn Town.

The sell-out event, organised by the Darlington 1883 Fundraising Group, saw Quakers' player receive their Northern League title medals from Darlington mayor Paul Baldwin.

The fundraising group chose Adam Nicholls as fans' favourite, while Cleveland Bridge Social Club, of Neasham Road, gave awards to Brown and Steven Johnson.

The Supporters' Club committee gave an award to Gray, his backroom staff and the squad in recognition of them achieving promotion at the first time of asking.

Frank Tweddle was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for his dedication to the club. He penned a statistical guide to the Quakers in 2000 and has written articles for the club programme for many years.

The Supporters' Trust made a presentation to Kevin Luff in recognition of the time and work he has put into the club's official website.

Luff also films all of Quakers' games and provides online highlights packages.

DVD copies of Darlington's win over Team Northumbria, including footage of the post-match celebrations, are available to buy for £5. Purchase details are online at northernleaguefootball.co.uk

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