Lewis Hawkins clinched the Michael Maidens Goal of the Season award at Hartlepool United – but denied his wonder-strike changed the season.
The midfielder was the runaway winner for his sensational 30-yarder in the 3-1 win at Barnet on the first Saturday in March.
It was my first goal and I will always remember itLEWIS HAWKINS
Hawkins received his trophy at the Pools awards ceremony at the Grand Hotel, the trophy being named in memory of the gifted young Pools player, who died in October 2007.
While Hawkins had stiff competition from Billy Paynter, Scott Fenwick, Nathan Thomas, Rakish Bingham and Jake Gray, the 23-year-old’s goal was stunning.
Just days after Pools had been given a 4-1 drubbing at Bristol Rovers, they trailed early doors at Barnet, who boasted the second best home record in the division.
But the midfielder turned the Pools season in incredible style.
He collected a loose ball 30 yards out, slightly to the left of goal and after being afforded time and room, he smashed a right-foot shot into the keeper’s bottom right corner.
Having watched it again on the big screen at the function, he loved the goal but modestly played down its significance.
“It was my first goal and I will always remember it,” said Hawkins. “It was an important goal because we were losing at the time and it got us back into the game.
“But it wasn’t anything more significant than that.
“I was pleased to have such a great first goal to look back on.”
Hawkins added his second goal just minutes later to inspire Pools to a vital 3-1 away win and after that the side did not look back as they went on a seven-match unbeaten run.
“The second goal felt really good at the time,” he said.
“But having watched it again, the keeper should probably have saved it.”
Elsewhere last night, skipper Billy Paynter took the Away Player of the Year.
The 15-goal striker missed a long chunk of the season with an Achilles problem but his form has been such that the supporters voted him the star man on their travels
Defender Adam Jackson, who has spent much of the season on loan from Middlesbrough, was named as Young Player of the Year.
The 21-year-old, wanted by boss Craig Hignett for next season, has been outstanding at the heart of the defence alongside Matthew Bates.
A new award was inaugurated this year to recognise long-term service and contribution to Pools.
The Ken Johnson Trophy was presented to stalwart defender turned development coach Sam Collins.
The giant centre-half has been with Pools since 2008, making 269 appearances while working twice as a caretaker manager and reserve team boss.
He was Ronnie Moore’s right-hand man before moving on to coach the club’s U21 players.