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Friday, 20 April, 2001, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Only here for the peers
Frenchman David Ginola
Frenchman David Ginola took the award in 1999
As a shortlist is announced for the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) player of the year award, BBC Sport Online's Frank Keogh profiles previous winners.

Pick your fantasy football team of the last 25 years - and the chances are they will be among the 11.

They are the winners of the annual PFA player of the year award, and its roll of honour makes impressive reading.

From Norman 'Bite Your Legs' Hunter to Roy 'Bite Your Legs' Keane, they are the pros deemed to be the best that season by their colleagues.

Keane again makes the shortlist for this year's award, along with his United colleagues Teddy Sheringham and Ryan Giggs.

Also included are Liverpool's Emile Heskey, Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and Ipswich frontman Marcus Stewart.

If Keane was to lift the award, he would be the first man to do so two years running.

  Previous players'
player winners
1974 Norman Hunter Leeds
1975 Colin Todd Derby
1976 Pat Jennings Spurs
1977 Andy Gray Aston Villa
1978 Peter Shilton Nott'm Forest
1979 Liam Brady Arsenal
1980 Terry McDermott Liverpool
1981 John Wark Ipswich
1982 Kevin Keegan Southampton
1983 Kenny Dalglish Liverpool
1984 Ian Rush Liverpool
1985 Peter Reid Everton
1986 Gary Lineker Everton
1987 Clive Allen Spurs
1988 John Barnes Liverpool
1989 Mark Hughes Man Utd
1990 David Platt Aston Villa
1991 Mark Hughes Man Uid
1992 Gary Pallister Man Utd
1993 Paul McGrath Aston Villa
1994 Eric Cantona Man Utd
1995 Alan Shearer Blackburn
1996 Les Ferdinand Newcastle
1997 Alan Shearer Newcastle
1998 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal
1999 David Ginola Spurs
2000 Roy Keane Man Utd

He would also equal the record of former team-mate Mark 'Sparky' Hughes, successful in 1989 and 1991 and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer - winner in 1995 and again two years later.

Attackers, appropriately, have a good strike rate in terms of lifting the trophy.

However, Hunter, United's Gary Pallister and Paul McGrath of Aston Villa have proved defenders can triumph.

Top Tottenham stopper Pat Jennings and Nottingham Forest's Peter Shilton are the only goalkeepers to have collected the award.

A win for Frenchman Henry would continue a good run in recent years for players from his homeland.

The flamboyant talents of Eric Cantona and David Ginola were both recognised by their peers.

But the players also have a habit of making some controversial selections, and 2001 is no exception.

Many will be surprised that Stewart has been chosen ahead of Arsenal's Patrick Vieira and United midfielder David Beckham.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: "The short-list is dominated by Manchester United.

"But it's good to see someone like Marcus Stewart, who has scored 21 goals, gain recognition in Ipswich's first season back in the Premier League."

Heskey is also nominated for the PFA's Young Player of the Year award.

The Liverpool hitman is joined by team-mate Steven Gerrard, West Ham duo Michael Carrick and Joe Cole, Man Utd's Wes Brown and Leeds striker Alan Smith in the race for that award.

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