Everton were forced to postpone their awards ceremony last week after the news broke of then-manager Roberto Martinez being fired. While the gala will still be held at an as yet unannounced date, the Toffees announced the winners of the various prizes on their website yesterday.
Midfield rock Gareth Barry lifted both the Everton's Player of the Season and the Player's Player of the Season awards. The Englishman narrowly pipped out forward Romelu Lukaku in an online fans' vote, and was the clear winner in the players' vote.
Barry featured in 39 games this season across all competitions, always in the defensive pivot role. He had no goals, but chipped in with four assists. Without Barry in the side the Toffees often looked lost and his steadying influence was a big component in the possession-based football that Martinez wanted to see.
Here is what Barry, third on the list of players with the most Premier League appearances with 594, had to say about his awards -
"It's fantastic. It was great for me to be nominated and win these awards. If you look at the talent in our dressing room, for me to be chosen as the Player of the Season, it means a lot to me.
"Both awards mean so much and when you are getting voted by the players you are training with each day and then playing with, any professional will tell you that it means a lot."
Belgian striker Lukaku did not go home empty-handed however, netting the Young Player of the Season as well as the fan-voted Goal of the Season awards. While his future at the Blues remains uncertain, fans will definitely relish his goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup Quarter Finals when he blew past half his former side to coolly slot home.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard also bid Everton farewell with an award - the Chairman's Blueblood trophy. Everton chairman Bill Kenwright had instituted the award in 2009 to recognise overall contribution to the Club, and Howard won it for the second time, marking the occasion on his last game for the Toffees with an emotional farewell.
In other awards, youngster Joe Williams was named the Under-21s Player of the Season for stand-in manager David Unsworth's side. The Everton Giant and the Howard Kendall award winners will be announced later this year, presumably when the gala is held.