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Victors pay tribute to collective spirit while merit award adds perspective

KRIS COMMONS expressed his joy at bringing further success to Celtic after last night being voted the Cheque Centre PFA Scotland player of the year.

Celtic striker Kris Commons (player of the year), Aberdeen's Derek McInnes (manager of the year) and Dundee United's Andrew Robertson (young player of the year) at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. Picture: SNS
Celtic striker Kris Commons (player of the year), Aberdeen's Derek McInnes (manager of the year) and Dundee United's Andrew Robertson (young player of the year) at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. Picture: SNS

The 30-year-old midfielder has scored 28 goals in all competitions this season and was voted the top performer in the SPFL Premiership by his fellow professionals ahead of his Parkhead team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Fraser Forster, and Kris Boyd of Kilmarnock.

"I am delighted to have won and it reflects well not only on me, but the entire club," said Commons at a gala dinner in Glasgow's Hilton Hotel.

Derek McInnes of Aberdeen was named manager of the year ahead of Celtic's Neil Lennon, Motherwell's Stuart McCall and Tommy Wright of St Johnstone.

"It is nice to win it but, like any award, it is because of the efforts of others who have played a part," said McInnes, who led the Pittodrie club to their first trophy in 19 years - the League Cup - by beating Inverness Caledonian Thistle on penalties. "It shows what can be done with a motivated, hungry and talented bunch."

Dundee United left-back Andy Robertson was named young player of the year, ahead of team-mates Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Gauld, and St Johnstone forward Stevie May.

Frank McKeown, the Stranraer defender, was given a special merit award for the role he played in his profession as a firefighter in the rescue operation after a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha Vaults bar in Glasgow on November 29 last year. After finishing work at 8am, McKeown played in a 1-1 draw at Clyde after one hour's sleep.

"When you look at the pictures, you think how lucky you are and appreciate things like being able to go out and play football," he said. "I have seen a lot of horrible things in my career, but that is one of the worst."

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