RYAN Ledson was humbled to be voted player of the season by Oxford United’s supporters.

The Andrew Knapton Trophy was the first of three titles at the U’s awards dinner collected by the midfielder, who also scooped the Jack Casley Trophy for young player of the year.

His hat-trick was completed by goal of the season for the late winner at Charlton Athletic in February, winning a poll voted for on the night by the 250 guests at the Kassam Stadium.

But it was the supporters’ crown which really touched Ledson.

The 20-year-old said: “I think I’ve come from a background where I know what it’s like.

“I know how the supporters pay their hard-earned money to come and watch us.

“I think it’s been an average season, below-average maybe, but the fans still follow in their thousands for every game.

“It’s an absolute privilege for me to pick up an award they voted for.

“I give everything for them and this is them giving something back – honestly, you don’t know how much it means to me.

“I love this club and for the time I’ve been here it’s been brilliant.”

The biggest cheer of the night went to Ricardinho, who was named player of the season as voted for by the rest of the squad.

The Brazilian, who has been a big hit since signing last summer, said: “I really appreciate what everyone did for me at the club.

“All the players and staff helped me when I came here and I’m so proud to be a part of this moment.”

Former chairman Darryl Eales arrived believing he would be presenting the club person of the year award, but was stunned to discover he was the recipient.

He said: “I don’t want to get overly sentimental, but tomorrow this will probably really sink in.

“You don’t do anything in life for appreciation, but what we have done – and it’s been a team effort – is put our heart and soul into it.”

Terry Waite’s dedication at the U’s training ground was honoured by being named unsung hero.

Wes Thomas picked up the golden boot award as the first team’s top-scorer, although with one game remaining and James Henry only one goal behind him, the striker still has work to do before being sure of keeping the trophy.

There were joint winners of the community contribution category.

Curtis Nelson and Lauren Haynes, who captain the men’s and women’s sides, have made dozens of visits between them during lengthy rehabilitations from serious injuries.

Kate Longworth, who leads the community department, said: “The appearances are really hard work, it’s not simply about going in and being a superstar.

“Lauren is doing some small-scale numeracy sessions once a week through the summer term in Banbury and Curtis has done some really quite involved Q&As on particular topics.

“He recently went into a secondary school near the stadium and spoke about what it means to aspire and beat adversity – that just means the world to these kids.”

Ella Franklin-Fraiture won WSL emerging talent for the second time, while goalkeeper Simon Eastwood topped the vote among the under 13 supporters.


  • WSL emerging talent: Ella Franklin-Fraiture

  • Community contribution: Curtis Nelson & Lauren Haynes

  • Club person: Darryl Eales

  • Jack Casley young player: Ryan Ledson

  • Golden boot: Wes Thomas

  • Andrew Knapton supporters’ player: Ryan Ledson

  • Unsung hero: Terry Waite

  • Players’ player: Ricardinho

  • Goal of the season: Ryan Ledson (at Charlton Athletic)

  • Young fans’ player: Simon Eastwood