NEWCASTLE United captain Fabricio Coloccini has been named 2011 North East footballer of the year by the region’s football writers.
The Argentina centre-back was handed the captain’s armband this summer after the controversial departure of Kevin Nolan to West Ham United.
However, it is his consistent performances at the heart of the Magpies’ defence which have won him the recognition of the North East Football Writers’ Association.
Coloccini beat off second-placed team-mate Cheick Tioté and Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley to become the award’s 31st winner.
Middlesbrough defender Joe Bennett was named young player of the year, following in the footsteps of Adam Johnson and David Wheater.
Coloccini and Bennett will be presented with their trophies at the North East FWA’s dinner at Durham’s Ramside Hall Hotel on Sunday, November 27. Wembley winners Carlisle United, Darlington and Whitley Bay will also be honoured.
Tickets for the annual dinner are available from Claire Stephen on 0191 3753080.