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Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 12:42 UK

Mannus is footballer of the year

Alan Mannus of Linfield
Alan Mannus has topped the footballer of the year poll

Linfield goalkeeper Alan Mannus has won the 2007-08 Ulster footballer of the year award.

Mannus pipped team-mates Michael Gault and Peter Thompson for the prize which is sponsored by the Castlereagh Glentoran Supporters' Club.

"It is a great thing for Linfield for the three of us to be in the running for the award," said Mannus.

"Getting this has come as a great surprise. I feel honoured just to have been considered for it."

Bobby Carlisle, chairman of the judging panel, said: "It is not just playing form which counts.

"We also consider sportsmanship and the overall contribution someone has made to the game.

"Alan has made a huge contribution and he is an absolute gentleman."

Mannus will be presented with the award at Linfield's match at Crusaders on Saturday.

Linfield go into that match on the verge of winning the Irish League title for the third year in a row.

The Blues are three points ahead of Glentoran and have a better goal difference by seven.

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