HARTLEPOOL-BORN footballer Steve Fletcher has been named as the first winner of the Football League’s Sir Tom Finney Award.
The Football League permanently re-named the annual award it presents to a player who has had an outstanding career in honour of the Preston North End and England legend, who sadly died last month.
And 41-year-old Steve, who started his career at Hartlepool United under Cyril Knowles before moving to Bournemouth where he went on to become a club legend, will be the first footballer to receive the gong at Sunday evening’s Football League Awards 2014.
Steve, whose parents Peter, 68, and Pat, 65, still live in the town, and own the Princess Helena pub, said he was “honoured” to be named as the winner of the award.
Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “Steve Fletcher has been an outstanding ambassador for AFC Bournemouth and football in The Football League. For more than 20 years he’s been adored by Bournemouth fans and feared by opposition defences in equal measure. He is a very worthy first recipient of the Sir Tom Finney Award.”
Steve made more than 800 senior appearances throughout an outstanding career.
He retired at the end of last season but continues to serve for the Cherries, who have had a fine season in the Championship, as head of recruitment and an ambassador.
*An in-depth interview with the former Pools centre-forward will feature in Saturday’s Hartlepool Mail.