Jordan Pickford and Anthony Gordon claimed the headline Everton Men's End of Season Awards following personally outstanding campaigns.
Goalkeeper Pickford says his Player of the Season honour – voted for by supporters - underlines a “brilliant” relationship with the Club’s fans.
The 28-year-old added that he hopes a string of exceptional performances, as pressure heightened on Everton at the foot of the Premier League table, repaid the unconditional support he’s received since joining from Sunderland five years ago.
Gordon capped a tremendous breakthrough campaign with the highest number of votes from teammates to win Everton’s Men’s Players’ Player of the Year award – to add to his Men’s Young Player of the Season prize.
Vitalii Mykolenko, meanwhile, won the Club’s Davanti Goal of the Season after the Ukrainian’s exquisite volley at Leicester City this month gained most votes in a fans’ poll.
The other categories which normally feature in our End of Season Awards, including our next Everton Giant, the Chairman's Blueblood Award and the latest recipient of The People's Club Award, will be announced at a later date.
Pickford, who swept the board at his first Everton End of Season Awards in 2017/18 – claiming player of the year, in addition to the players’ player and young player trophies – was formidable in goal, as Frank Lampard’s side pulled clear of danger during the campaign’s closing weeks.
The England number one’s astonishing stop from Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta in Everton’s 1-0 win on 1 May qualifies as one of the saves of this or any season.
Pickford additionally stunningly kept out Antonio Rudiger in the same game, as Everton earned three points on a frenzied Goodison afternoon to move within touching distance of safety – and begin the process of hauling a united Club out of trouble.
Manager Lampard, presenting Pickford with his award, said: “Since we [Lampard and staff] came in, there have been some outstanding performances and efforts from everyone, but the outstanding player, and I agree… is Everton’s number one and England’s number one. Jordan has made some ridiculous saves in recent weeks, he is a great lad and this is fully deserved.”
Everyone loves @Dull43Mick! 💙— Everton (@Everton) May 25, 2022
To recognise his incredible and inspirational support, we invited Michael down to Finch Farm to receive his Spirit of the Blues award from the squad. 👏 pic.twitter.com/6DnhpTFNJp
Pickford is one short of 200 appearances for the Club and his 43 England caps have all been earned since his arrival in summer 2017.
The popularity of a player who has consistently been one of his team’s finest performers over five seasons is illustrated in the giant banner paying homage to Pickford routinely unfurled in Goodison’s Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End.
“I have a brilliant relationship with our fans and receiving this award from them means a lot to me,” Pickford told evertonfc.com.
“They have been right behind me from the day I joined the Club and I felt so proud when I walked out on the first day of this season to see the flag they’d created.
“I know it’s been said a lot, but the way they supported us in the closing weeks of the season, when we really needed them, was absolutely incredible.
“Like most of the lads, I had never seen or experienced anything close to that level of support.
“I am so pleased I could play my own small part in keeping Everton in the Premier League and repay the fans in some way for everything they did.”
The 21-year-old Academy graduate Gordon featured 40 times in all competitions this term, tripling his Everton appearance total and fortifying a reputation as one of the Club’s most exciting young players.
He notably started all bar two of Lampard’s 21 matches in charge and demonstrated the pluck and tenacity to thrive as Everton fought for their Premier League lives.
Captain Seamus Coleman presented Gordon with his Players’ Player of the Season honour and paid tribute to his junior colleague’s “spirit, heart and determination”.
“This lad has really come into his own,” continued Coleman. “He’s worked so hard, grafted, and the Evertonians have really taken to him.
“You [Gordon] have been a credit to yourself for the past year.”
Gordon said: “Thanks to all my teammates, they have given me a lot of advice on and off the pitch and I couldn‘t have done it without them.”
Collecting his young player prize, Gordon added: “Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Your support has gone a long way for us this season, so thank you very much.”
Mykolenko was a popular winner of the best-goal award.
The defender, who has shown remarkable humility and fortitude settling in England, against the backdrop of ongoing conflict in his homeland, met an Alex Iwobi cross on the full to arrow home a precise finish and set Everton on the way to a critical victory at Leicester.
Mykolenko, a new-year signing from Dynamo Kyiv, received his award from First-Team coach and one of the greatest left-backs of them all, Ashley Cole.