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WeAreBrighton.com End of Season Awards 2016/17

After so many years of play off disappointment, Brighton and Hove Albion finally secured a spot in the Premier League by finishing runners up in the Championship in one of the most memorable seasons in Albion history.

The achievements of this great squad of players are recognised in our WeAreBrighton.com End of Season Awards. These proved to be easily the most popular awards we've ever held with record numbers voting across our 13 categories.

They include the coveted Player of the Season Award which has seen five of the eight winners all leave within six months of taking the crowd. There was also the return of Own Goal of the Season and a brand new category recognising David Stockdale's penalty saving prowess, Penalty Save of the Season.

Without further ado, here are the winners...

WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Season: Anthony Knockaert (37.96% of the vote)
Was there any ever doubt about who would win this? Anthony Knockaert was named the Albion's Official Player of the Year, the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year and now he adds the most coveted prize of all, the WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Season award to his collection, holding off the challenges of David Stockdale and Lewis Dunk. The French magician scored 15 times from the wing in a campaign in which he cemented his place as one of the most popular Seagulls players ever.
Previous Winners: Bruno (2016), Inigo Calderon (2015), Stephen Ward (2014), Liam Bridcutt (2013, 2012), Glenn Murray (2011), Andrew Crofts (2010)
Goal of the Season: Steve Sidwell v Bristol City (A) (62.44%)
There appeared little on when Steve Sidwell picked the ball up in his own half at Ashton Gate. Neither of the strikers could seemingly be bothered to make any sort of run and the wingers were conspicuous by their absence at that point. Not that any of that mattered as Sidwell took the frankly outrageous option of advancing forward a few yards into the opposition half before letting a shot off from the half way line which lobbed the stranded Bristol City goalkeeper. Simply stunning.
Previous Winners: Jiri Skalak (2016), Rohan Ince (2015). Jake Forster-Caskey (2014), Craig Mackail-Smith (2013), Inigo Calderon (2012), Liam Bridcutt (2011), Gary Dicker (2010)
Last Minute Goal of the Season: Glenn Murray v Birmingham City (A) (73.71%)
Brighton had been, for want of a better word, crap for 70 minutes away at Birmingham City. Solly March's introduction had changed all that however with Anthony Knockaert equalising to secure what looked like it would be a hard fought point. Except of course that Glenn Murray had other ideas as the clock ticked into the 92nd minute, leaping to head home a corner. It was a Christmas present eight days early for the away support at St Andrews who duly went absolutely mental at a huge three points.
Previous Winners: Steve Sidwell (2016), Inigo Calderon (2015), Leonardo Ulloa (2014), David Lopez (2013), Will Buckley (2012)
Own Goal of the Season: Fikayo Tomori v Lincoln City (A) (40.43%)
Not since 2014 had the Albion scored enough own goals to justify us holding this award but it returned with a vengeance as we managed to put through our own net four times in the 2016-17 season. The best of those was judged to come from Fikayo Tomori who certainly had a debut to remember after he turned a cross past subsitute goalkeeper Casper Ankergren to put non-league Lincoln City 2-1 up in the FA Cup Fourth Round at Sincil Bank. It ended up proving to be the turning point as the Imps would go onto win 3-1, providing one of the shocks of the competition.
Previous Winners: Tomasz Kuszczak (2014), Dean Hammond (2013) Lewis Dunk (2012)
Penalty Save of the Season: David Stockdale v Sheffield Wednesday (H) (86.70%)
David Stockdale developed something of a reputation for saving penalties this season, keeping out three spot kicks over the course of the campaign which saw us create this new award just for him. The landslide winning vote went to his stop from Fernando Forestieri after Glenn Murray had been sent off for deliberate hand ball in the box. Stockdale threw himself to his right to keep out the Italian's penalty and then managed to get up, get back in position and turn the follow up effort around the post. A quite brilliant double save which proved to be a vital platform for the Albion to go on and claim the win.
Previous Winners: New category!
Celebration of the Season: Steve Sidwell v Bristol City (A) (48.95%)
You've already read plenty about Steve Sidwell's goal at Bristol City which secured him the Goal of the Season Award but it also won Celebration of the Season as well. A matter of days earlier, Anthony Knockaert's father had died and the winger was absent from Ashton Gate for the game as a result. To show the world that they were thinking of their team mate, the entire Albion team headed to the dugout after Sidwell's piece of brilliance, where they held Knockaert's shift up to the skies in a fitting tribute. Rarely has #Together been so apt.
Previous Winners: Tomer Hemed & Anthony Knockaert (2016)
Memorable Moment of the Season: Wigan Athletic Home (29.29%)
A 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic confirmed Brighton and Hove Albion's place in the Premier League for the 2017/18 season. The scenes that followed after the match will live long in the memory as, despite the pleas of Paul Barber, the lower tiers of the Amex emptied onto the pitch for a huge invasion with the players leading the way by singing from the directors box, The party continued long into the night on West Street in an amazing evening.
Previous Winners: Wednesday Home (2016), Fulham Away (2015), Forest Away (2014), Brighton 3-0 Palace (2013), Doncaster Home (2012), Charlton Away (2011), Southampton Away (2010)
Dismissal of the Season: Glenn Murray v Sheffield Wednesday (H) (63.92%)
Finding yourself 1-0 down at home against a promotion rival is a pretty bad position to be in. Things got even worse when Sheffield Wednesday visited the Amex however when Glenn Murray was shown a straight red card. The offence can only be described as catching a goal bound shot in bewildering yet bloody hilarious circumstances. Top scorer off and down to 10 men, it looked curtains for the Albion at that point yet somehow we came back to win 2-1 with Wednesday receiving two late red cards of their own.
Previous Winners: Dale Stephens (2016), Adrian Colunga (2015), Leonardo Ulloa (2014), Ashley Barnes (2013), Mauricio Taricco (2012, 2011), Colin Hawkins (2010)
Flair Moment of the Season: Blowing the Title (38.98%)
Seven points clear with three games to go, it was surely just a matter of when rather than if Brighton would be crowned champions of the Championship. Except this being the Albion, there was a monumental cock up as were defeated at Norwich City through two David Stockdale own goals, lost at home to relegation threatened Bristol City and then could only draw with Aston Villa, Stockdale again at fault as a shot went through his legs from 25 yards to hand Newcastle United the title.
Previous Winners: Colin Calderwood (2016), Chris O'Grady (2015), Andrea Orlandi (2014), Liam Bridcutt (2013), Vicente (2012), Cristian Baz (2011), Inigo Calderon (2010)
Villain of the Season: Alex Pritchard (31.89%)
It looked as though the Albion were set to complete club record deal with Tottenham Hotspur for Alex Pritchard with just personal terms to be agreed. In order to do so, the midfielder had to drive along with his agent from London to Brighton - a simple enough task. Well no, seemingly not as Pritchard claimed to have been bored sitting in traffic on the M25 and so turned his car around, drove to Norwich instead and signed for the Canaries. How did that decision work out for you, mate?
Previous Winners: Mike Dean (2016), David Burke (2015), Nigel Adkins (2014, 2011), El Hadji Diuof (2013) Glenn Murray (2012), Dean Hammond (2010)
Look-a-like of the Season: Oliver Norwood - Shirley from EastEnders (37.21%)
There have been a number of shocking hair cuts involving bleach at the Albion down the years - think Nathan Jones' squirrel look or Robbie Pethick going through some sort of midlife crisis and trying to emulate Eminem. None of them come close to the monstrosity that was Oliver Norwood's hair in the second half of the season. He turned his dark hair bright blonde and began spiking it up. Goodness knows what was going through his mind at the time, but we are fairly certain it wasn't "I want to look like Shirley Carter from EastEnders" which has been the result.
Previous Winners: Jesus of Nazareth (2016), Neil from The Inbetweeners (2015)
Sexiest Player of the Season: Shane Duffy (22.29%)
Never before has a non-Spaniard lifted our Sexiest Player of the Season crown. It is some achievement then for Shane Duffy to finally break their stranglehold of the award. This was the closest fought battle of the awards with just three percent of the vote separating a top four of Duffy, Steve Sidwell, Tomer Hemed and Sebastien Pocognoli. It's the Irish defender who takes it however, proving that the club record 4m the club forked out to Blackburn Rovers in August has not just proven to be outstanding value on the pitch, but off of it as well.
Previous Winners: Inigo Calderon (2016, 2015) Andrea Orlandi (2014, 2013), Vicente (2012)
Best Bald Head of the Season: Bruno (89.07%)
The only certainty in life is death, taxes and Bruno winning the award for Best Bald Head of the Season. The club captain made it a fifth victory in a row although signs that his dominance isn't all it once was were shown in the fact he received 2% less of the vote than he did last year, securing 'only' 89.97%. Niki Maenpaa was his nearest challenger which proves that the whole head on upside down look is very much in fashion currently, yet the Finn was still 83% behind the eventual winner who must now surely be considered owner of the Best Bald Head in club history.
Previous Winners: Bruno (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013), Gordon Greer (2012)