NEWCASTLE UNITED defender Fabian Schar has been named as the 2019 North-East Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year.

His Newcastle team-mates, Sean Longstaff, has won the NEFWA Young Player of the Year award, with Durham Women defender Kathryn Hill claiming the Women’s Player of the Year crown.

All three winners will be presented with their awards at the 40th North-East Football Writers’ Association annual dinner at Ramside Hall Hotel on Sunday, February 2.

The awards night will also feature the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation personality of the year award which has previously been awarded to Alan Shearer, Jermaine Defoe, Niall Quinn and Robbie Elliott. This year’s recipient will be announced later this week.

Switzerland international Schar narrowly beat Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden in the Player of the Year vote, which is held among the North-East’s football writers, with Middlesbrough and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph in third place.

Schar joined Newcastle from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer of 2018 after spells with FC Wil 1900, Basel and Hoffenheim. He has 52 Swiss caps, playing in the last two World Cup finals and Euro 2016s, and also represented his country in the 2012 Olympics in London.

The stylish centre-half scored four goals last season, including the 30-yard screamer against Burnley which won the Premier League and Match of the Day goal of the month in February. He scored his first goal of this season against Everton as a near ever-present under Steve Bruce, until a hamstring injury over the festive period.

Schar becomes the fourth Newcastle player in a row to win the annual award following goalkeeper Martin Dubravka last season and joint winners Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie in 2017.

Newcastle academy graduate Longstaff was the unanimous choice for the Young Player award, which also has an impressive list of previous winners.

He takes the award from former Sunderland striker Josh Maja and follows the likes of Jordan Pickford, Ayoze Perez and the first winner, Steven Taylor.

The 22-year-old midfielder joined Newcastle as a schoolboy and after loan spells with Kilmarnock and Blackpool, made his first-team debut under Rafael Benitez in December 2018.

He made a real impression on Newcastle fans in the win over champions Manchester City at St James’ Park and scored his first Premier League goal in a 2-0 win over Burnley.

Although he was ruled out for the season with a knee injury the following month, Longstaff, whose brother Matty has also made an impressive breakthrough to the first team, continued where he left off when he returned to the side this season.

Scotland international Hill is the second Durham Women player to win the Women’s Player of the Year award, following last season’s recipient, Beth Hepple.

The tough-tackling defender, signed from Rangers two years ago as part of the club’s link with Durham University, has been an integral part of the FA Women’s Championship side’s promotion pushes in the last two seasons.

Tickets for the North-East Football Writers' Association awards dinner are priced £56 and are available from Claire Stephen on 0191 375 3080.