ANDY Whing and Ryan Clarke were multiple winners at Oxford United’s player of the year awards dinner on Saturday.
While the circumstances, hours after the 2-0 defeat to Southend United which all but ended the U’s play-off hopes, were not ideal, the prizes were still hotly contested.
Whing picked up two awards, including the supporters’ player of the year.
The versatile 27-year-old would not have been many fans’ stand-out choice earlier in the season following a poor start to his United career.
But wholehearted displays in the last few months changed opinions and Whing was delighted to be selected.
He said: “This a great honour, especially because I got a bit of stick from the fans at the start of the season, it’s a big turnaround for them to give me player of the season.
“It’s a massive achievement from where I started off.
“I’m proud of it and I’d like to thank my teammates and coaching staff.”
The former Coventry City and Brighton player was also named interviewee of the year by Jack FM.
Clarke was the players’ player of the year and went on to scoop the Oxford Mail’s supporters’ prize after collecting the most man of the match awards in online votes across the season.
Peter Leven’s long-range strike against Port Vale in October was United’s goal of the season, while Michael Duberry finished on top in the votes submitted by supporters in the executive boxes.
Striker Tyrone Marsh was the youth team’s player of the season.
Among the senior squad, Alfie Poter was crowned the top young player, despite missing the last three months with a broken ankle.
James Constable’s 11 goals were enough to see him retain the Oxford United golden boot as top scorer, four strikes ahead of nearest challenger Asa Hall.
The entire squad were applauded by the fans and sponsors in attendance when they picked up the moment of the season award – for the first league double over rivals Swindon Town in 38 years.
The final gong, for Oxford United’s person of the year, was presented to Tim Rackley from the Priory pub.
He was commended for his work to raise money to help Charlotte Nott, the four-year-old who lost all four limbs after contracting meningitis.