Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's Steven Davis and Jimmy Nicholl keep the prizes coming

By Graham Luney

Steven Davis has been named Vauxhall Northern Ireland Player of the Year for the second successive year.

The Northern Ireland and Southampton captain topped the public vote to claim the award ahead of the other heroes of a memorable 2016.

After being instrumental in helping to secure the Green and White Army's first major tournament appearance since 1986, Davis was a major force as Northern Ireland reached the knockout stages in France.

Davis has been a key part of the national team since his debut in 2005, and is currently fourth on the list of all-time appearances with 92 caps.

After receiving the trophy from Vauxhall competition winner Stan Kee, Davis expressed his pride at receiving the award for the second year running.

"It's an honour to be named Vauxhall Northern Ireland Player of the Year, especially after the fantastic year that we had," said Davis.

"It's great to be recognised by our loyal supporters and I am hugely thankful to each and every one of them for voting.

"We have put ourselves in a decent position in our qualifying group for the next major competition and it is up to us to build on the success that we had in 2016."

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland legend Jimmy Nicholl was honoured at the 2017 Belfast Sports Awards in City Hall on Friday evening.

The former Manchester United and Rangers ace is a key member of O'Neill's backroom team as Northern Ireland continue to win over admirers.

O'Neill and Nicholl were inducted into the Belfast Hall of Fame at a dinner hosted by Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston. Dr Michael McKillop, winner of five Paralympic Gold Medals, was also among the award winners.

Northern Ireland defender, Gareth McAuley, who scored in the famous 2-0 victory over Ukraine at the Euro 2016 finals in France, presented his shirt from the win to fan Mark Harrison who won a raffle for the jersey which raised more than £10,000 for Cancer Fund for Children.

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