Steven Gerrard voted Football Writers' Association player of the year

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Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has been named the 2009 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.

The 28-year-old beat off competition from Manchester United's Ryan Giggs - the recently-crowned PFA Player of the Year - and Wayne Rooney.

Gerrard will receive his award at the FWA's gala dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on May 29.

"Steven's performances this season have been of the highest quality," chairman of the FWA Steve Bates, chief football writer for The People, said.

"His drive and desire have underpinned Liverpool's Premier League title challenge and ensured a tight finish to the season.

"Steven is clearly in his prime and quite rightly rated one of the finest midfield players of his generation, and the FWA are delighted to honour his contribution to club and country."

Gerrard added: "I'm delighted but I'm a little bit surprised. When you look at the quality of the players there are in this league, it's a great privilege to win this kind of award.

"It's not just the Manchester United players. When you look at the players the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal and other teams have got, they all have fantastic players throughout their squads now.

"The quality is getting better and better each year so to win this award is a great achievement for myself.

"It's made even more special for me because I am following in the footsteps of Liverpool players like John Barnes, Steve Nicol and Kenny Dalglish who were heroes of mine.

"Then further back players like Ian Callaghan and Terry McDermott who were heroes to my dad and so many other Liverpool fans."

Stevie G is the first Liverpool player since Barnes in 1990 to claim the honour, which has been running since 1948.

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