Liverpool striker Luis Suarez wins Football Writers' Association Player of the Year award
LONDON: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez completed a notable 'double' on Monday after it was announced he'd been voted the 2014 Footballer of the Year by England's Football Writers' Association.
Suarez's 30 goals have kept Liverpool in sight of their first English championship title in 24 years and this latest honour comes after he was named Player of the Year by his peers in England's Professional Footballers' Association.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. File Pic
Uruguay international Suarez, 27, topped a poll of more than 300 journalists ahead of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and will receive the FWA award, which has been running since 1948 at a gala dinner at London's Lancaster Hotel on May 15.
FWA chairman Andy Dunn, of the Sunday Mirror, said: "Those members who have been fortunate enough to be working at a match involving Luis Suarez have witnessed an astonishing talent first-hand.
"Tireless endeavour allied to extraordinary imagination makes an irresistible combination. Add ingenious, impudent finishing and you have a footballer who truly quickens the pulse.
"Luis is a remarkably gifted addition to the long and distinguished list of winners of our award."
Charles Buchan, one of the founders of the FWA, said the award should be presented "to the professional player who by precept and example is considered by a ballot of members to be the footballer of the year".
And there will be those who argue that, for all his goals, Suarez has failed to live up to the standards of Buchan's words given he started the season completing a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic -- a punishment which itself came a year after he received an eight-game suspension for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Nevertheless, Suarez gained 52 percent of a ballot in which votes were cast for 10 players in all, with Gerrard the runner-up and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure, a key figure in Manchester City's Premier League title-charge, in third place.
Suarez won just two votes in last year's poll and Dunn told Sky Sports: "Our voting opened 12 hours after the biting incident at Anfield, so I think that was taken into account.
"I must stress the importance in this award that the football writers are asked to base their decision on obviously the footballing contribution throughout the season, but also to take into account the player's behaviour -- the original citation for the FWA award back in 1947/48 mentioned 'precept and example', so that is taken into account.
"While no-one would say Suarez is whiter than white, you would have to say his behaviour all throughout the season has been very good and I think the football writers have taken that into account, an element of redemption if you like, and allied with those 30 goals, and the sensational talent he has displayed all season, that made him a very, very popular choice."