NEWCASTLE United centre-back Steven Taylor was last night named Newcastle’s Sports Personality of the Year.
The 24-year-old claimed the top prize at Sport Newcastle’s annual ceremony. Taylor was part of the Magpies side relegated from the Premier League last season, but helped make amends as a key figure in establishing an imposing lead at the top of the Championship in the first half of this.
The former England Under-21 captain has not featured since injuring his knee in mid-January. He hopes to return in time for what looks increasingly likely to be Newcastle’s title celebrations at the end of the campaign.
While Taylor took the top award, Alan Shearer grabbed much of the attention after his unannounced appearance to present the inaugural Jack Hixon Award. It was created in honour of the legendary football scout whose discoveries included Shearer, and who was a proud supporter of the event in his later years.
Hixon died in December aged 88. The award in his name honours up-and-coming football talent, and Remie Streete, a 15-year-old centre-back from South Shields, was selected by Newcastle United’s scouts as its first winner.
Streete played for Boldon Colts from the age of five to 13, but signed for Newcastle despite interest from Sunderland.
Durham cricketer Paul Collingwood won the Frank Brennan Award. The all-rounder is currently touring Bangladesh with England.
Northumberland squash coach Richard Vitty won the Stan Calvert Award for coaching, while the Wilkinson Sword went to Ian Elvin. A former chairman of Sport Newcastle, Elvin is Northumbria University’s director of sport.
The Rising Stars awards went to fencers Abbi Harvey and Fawn Lamb, boxer Akaash Hussain, Newcastle United footballer Brad Inman, rower Edward Ford, basketball player Hamish Crackett, golfers Jack Hermeston and Nicola Haynes, swimmers Kayleigh Dawson and Lewis Wiseman-Ord, judo player Nico Giuliani, athlete Rachel Lundgren and rugby league player Sinclair Matthews.