Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom named manager of year at Star Football Awards

Paul Heckingbottom picked up what he will hope is only his first trophy of the season tonight as the Sheffield United boss was named manager of the year at The Star Football Awards.

Heckingbottom, formerly of Barnsley and Leeds United, took over from Slavisa Jokanović back in November with the Blades floundering at the wrong end of the table.

But a superb run of form has seen United’s former caretaker boss win exactly half of his 26 games in charge since being appointed on a permanent basis, losing six and drawing seven – and transforming United from also-rans to genuine play-off contenders.

Along the way United have beaten runaway leaders Fulham in their own backyard and should have dispatched second-placed Bournemouth too, but for some ridiculous refereeing decisions.

Heckingbottom’s connection with the club’s fanbase is reflected in his own terrace anthem, also referencing assistant manager Stuart McCall and sung to Status Quo’s ‘Rockin’ All Over the World’ – and he will be hoping to follow up this award with the play-off trophy in just under a month’s time.

Earlier, Billy Sharp was crowned as United’s player of the year at the Star Football Awards, with teammate Morgan Gibbs-White walking away with the young player of the year gong.

Paul Heckingbottom has been crowned manager of the year at the Star Football Awards tonight: Simon Bellis / Sportimage