Northern Ireland international named Player of the Year
GARETH McAuley was today named the West Bromwich Albion Disabled Supporters' Club's Player of the Year.
The central defender received his award as the club laid on the 11th annual open day for the WBADSC.
The 33-year-old has missed only one Barclays Premier League game this season and scored vital goals in victories over Everton and Liverpool.
McAuley beat off competition from second-placed Romelu Lukaku and last year’s winner Ben Foster, who came third.
In keeping with tradition, Steve Clarke switched training to The Hawthorns to enable around 70 WBADSC members, plus 30 representatives from Sporting Club Albion’s disability section, to watch a full session from the East Stand's disabled facilities.
The supporters were treated to a meal in the Richardson Suite before meeting the coaching staff and entire first-team squad who signed autographs and posed for photos.
WBADSC chairman Kevin Candon said: “We put it to the membership to vote and Gareth won by a big margin.
“He’s been a rock for the team this season and it wasn’t a difficult decision.”
Candon was delighted with the way WBADSC members were treated throughout the event.
“We’ve now been doing this for over ten years and yet again the club has done us proud,” he added.
“There aren’t many clubs that organise this type of event.
“It just keeps getting better and better as the players are interacting with the fans more than ever.
“The disabled supporters wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet the players and for the players to go out of their way to come and meet them is absolutely brilliant.”
He also took the time to thank committee members Phil Roberts, Tracy Lawson, Kevin Whitehouse and Steven Brettle for their ongoing support.
“We’re thriving but we could still do with some more members," he added.
“I would just like to mention our committee members, who spend a great deal of their own time working behind the scenes, which nobody knows about.”
For further information about the WBA Disabled Supporters’ Club, or to become a member, call Kevin Candon on 07980 561721 between 6pm and 8pm.