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Friday, May 1, 1998 Published at 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK

Sport: Football

Bergkamp nets new year's honour
image: [ Bergkamp has scored 22 goals for Arsenal this season ]
Bergkamp has scored 22 goals for Arsenal this season

Arsenal's Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp has been named Footballer of the Year, while Gunners captain Tony Adams has been voted runner-up in the Football Writers' Association poll.

Bergkamp is the fourth successive overseas player to win the coveted award, following Jurgen Klinsman, Eric Cantona and Gianfranco Zola.

He is also the first Arsenal player to win since Frank McLintock, captain of the Double-winning side of 1970-71.

[ image: Tony Adams has been a tower of strength for Arsenal]
Tony Adams has been a tower of strength for Arsenal
Bergkamp and Adams pooled more than 50% of the votes, with Liverpool's young striker Michael Owen coming third.

It is the second major honour this season for both Bergkamp and Owen. The Dutchman was voted PFA Player of the Year by his fellow professionals, and Owen received the Young Player of the year award.

Bergkamp is the equal second-highest scorer in the Premiership this season with 22 goals, but the quality of his strikes sets him apart from other players.

[ image: Michael Owen is one of the brightest young talents to emerge for years]
Michael Owen is one of the brightest young talents to emerge for years
Bergkamp goals came first, second and third in August's Goal of the Month competition on BBC TV's Match of the Day programme, and he was also Carling's player of the month for August and September.

"I am overwhelmed to hear I have won this major prestigious award," said Bergkamp. "I look forward to collecting the trophy."

The Dutchman won the Player of the Year award despite showing a previously unnoticed streak of aggression this season.

He was suspended for three matches last November after collecting five yellow cards, and again after elbowing Steve Lomas in the face in Arsenal's FA cup quarter-final replay against West Ham.

[ image: Bergkamp's season ends in agony]
Bergkamp's season ends in agony
The 28-year-old may have played his last game for Arsenal this season, as he picked up a hamstring injury in the 1-0 defeat of Derby that took the North London club to within three points of the Premiership title.

But he hopes to be fit for the FA Cup final against Newcastle, when Arsenal could seal another double.

Bergkamp is the second Dutch player to become Footballer of the Year, following the Ipswich midfielder, Frans Thijssen, in 1981.


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