ACCRINGTON Stanley striker Paul Mullin admitted he was "shocked" to win the North West Coca Cola League Two Player of the Year award at a star-studded night at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
In the company of Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Tom Finney, Everton’s David Moyes and Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson, Mullin was presented with the League Two prize by ex-Wrexham boss Denis Smith.
Mullin, 34 who scored 13 goals last season, was up against Liam Dickinson from Stockport and Gary Jones from Rochdale but the Reds forward got the most on-line votes for his shows last season.
"I genuinely didn’t think I was going to win," said Stanley’s record appearance holder. "I thought it was going to be a long night and it was quite overawing walking up and making a speech - I got a few laughs though!
"Denis Smith said some nice things about me and this is the best award I have ever won.
"I didn’t think I would win anything like this as it has happened pretty late in my career. But I think you appreciate it more when you are older, especially playing through all the leagues as I have, as you do not take yourself too seriously.
"But while it is a good achievement for me it is good for the club as well. It is a nice recognition for the club as we have not had much credit since we got into the league and staying in League Two has been no mean feat."
There were more than 85,000 votes from 163 countries and these decided the night’s other footballing winners including Fernando Torres for the Barclays Premiership Player of the Year, Tranmere’s defender Ian Goodison was voted Coca Cola League One Player of the Year while Northwich Victoria’s striker, Lee Steele won the Blue Square Conference League Player of the Year. Burnley’s Wade Elliot won Goal of the Year.
The overall Northwest Footballer of the Year went to Manchester United’s record appearance leader, Ryan Giggs.