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The BBC's Mike Ingham
"Roy Keane follows in the footsteps of another Manchester United legend"
 real 28k

Saturday, 29 April, 2000, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Keane is player of the year

Keane: "Levels of consistency and excellence are unmatched"
Manchester United's Roy Keane has been given the prestigious Footballer of the Year award by the Football Writers' Association.

Keane won the oldest honour of its kind by the biggest margin on in the 52-year history of the event.

I am very excited personally, but it's also a great reflection on the whole Manchester United team

Roy Keane

The Republic of Ireland and United skipper netted a massive 53% of the vote a week after his club won its sixth Premiership crown in eight seasons.

"This is a fantastic honour. I never thought I would see the day when I would be given such an accolade," said Keane.

"I am very excited personally, but it's also a great reflection on the whole Manchester United team.

"I'm very proud and I'm sure all my family will share my pride."
Roy Keane
Keane led Man Utd to their sixth title in eight seasons

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: "This award makes up for last year when I thought Roy should have been Footballer of the Year, but I'm also delighted for him as well as the club because it reflects what we have achieved this season."

Football Writers' Association chairman Paul McCarthy said: "Roy is a worthy winner because he is the heartbeat of a magnificent side and his levels of consistency and excellence are unmatched this season.

"That was reflected in the vote."

Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips trailed in a distant second, with Harry Kewell of Leeds taking third place.

The presentation of the Sir Stanley Matthews Trophy - named for the first player to win the award - will be made at the Footballer of the Year dinner in London on 18 May.

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