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Page last updated at 08:48 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 09:48 UK

Adebayor receives BBC award

By Farayi Mungazi
BBC Sport, Lome

A fan of Emmanuel Adebayor (picture by Senyuiedzorm Adadevoh)
An Adebayor fan spectacularly dressed for Tuesday's function

Emmanuel Adebayor was presented with the 2007 BBC African Footballer of the Year trophy at a special gala in Lome on Tuesday night.

There was great excitement ahead of the function, which was held at one of Lome's top hotels.

Togo's sports minister Antoine Folly presented Adebayor with one of the most prestigious awards in African sport.

"I'm greatly honoured to be given this award in front of my people," Adebayor told BBC Sport.

"I hope it will show my people that when you work hard, you will realise your dreams.

"I want to thank the fans for voting for me as the BBC's best player of 2007.

"It means a lot. All these years when I have been working hard - today I have been rewarded."

As well as the hundreds of people inside the venue, there were around a thousand fans outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of their idol.

Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor was a clear winner of the 2007 award

One of Adebayor's many fans turned up for the function with his body painted in tribute to the star.

On his chest was emblazoned, in French, the message: "You are carrying the flame of the nation."

The Arsenal and Togo striker earned almost 42 per cent of the public vote for the award.

He beat Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast into second place with Ghana's Michael Essien finishing third.

Previous winners of the BBC award include Essien and his fellow Ghanaian Sammy Kufuor, Mohamed Barakat of Egypt, Senegal's El Hadji Diouf, and Nigeria's Jay-Jay Okocha.

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see also
Adebayor wins BBC player award
17 Jan 08 |  African
Togo 1-0 Zambia
31 May 08 |  African

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