Harmison wins North Shields player of the year award

Malcolm Macdonald and James Harmison - Player of the Year.
Malcolm Macdonald and James Harmison - Player of the Year.
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James Harmison has been crowned the North Shields Football Club player of the year 2012-13.

The George Thompson award was presented by Robins’ president Malcolm Macdonald at the club’s reflective evening held at Chirton Club.

Harmison, in his second season with the Shieldsmen, made 36 appearances this term and has been a tower of strength, the backbone of the side’s defence.

Not only that, he has nipped upfield to pop in five crucial goals – one home and away against Ryhope CW, also against Ryton, Seaham Red Star and Esh Winning.

James has been supported at most North Shields games by his cricketing brothers Steve and Ben alongside dad Jimmy.

Following in his father’s footsteps James is a courageous central defender, Jimmy represented the Robins 206 times between 1982-85 and 1989-90, notching 22 goals and was a key player in the North Shields sides that famously won at Halifax in an FA Cup tie exactly 30 years ago and also in the team that enjoyed the club’s record FA Trophy run, only ending at Barnet, under Jim Pearson.

Joint second to Harmison in the voting were Dean Holmes and Ben Richardson.

Midfielder Adam Forster had a double reason to celebrate – not only was he named as the supporters’ player of the year, he also accepted the players’ player trophy, special because the destination of which is decided by team mates.

Winning the supporters’ trophy – the Richie Hall award dedicated in memory of one of the Frank Brennan Wembley braves who sadly died during the season – Forster has made a sensational impact since signing from Blyth Spartans.

With a tigerish talent Forster has now notched up over a half-century of appearances for the Robins, linking up exceptionally with Ben Richardson in the middle of the park.

Richardson, signed from Washington at the start of the campaign, has played through the pain barrier and been rewarded with four goals, particularly relishing the one scored in the Northumberland Senior Cup 6-1 trouncing of West Allotment Celtic – a former club – and was singled out by boss Graham Fenton to receive the manager’s award.

Robbie Nolan was another acquisition from Washington where he had netted three times, going on to rack up 24 league and six cup strikes for the Robins and claim the Supermac Golden Boot.

Two former North Shields players of the year – current skipper Dan Patterson and Femi Akinbolu, alongside Keith Douglas who netted 40 times in 2010-11, all received salvers to commemorate 100 plus appearances for the club.

Versatile and sterling defender Joe Elliott turned out most times in 1012-13 (48), closely followed by Patterson (47), Richardson (46), and Forster (45).

Overall player-coach Andy Bowman is currently on 183 appearances, 96 of which have been as a substitute, stalwart Marty Graham came off the bench at Tow Law to take his tally to 176 whilst keeper Michael Robinson, who missed a chunk of the campaign through injury, is now on 157, including three goals.