Football: Bergkamp aims to finish in England
Tuesday 07 April 1998
Bergkamp became only the second Arsenal player to win the award, joining Liam Brady who won it in 1979. The striker said: "I am thinking of finishing my career in England. It suits my game and I feel fine. I am not thinking of playing in any other country or for any other team at the moment."
Bergkamp's award went some way to making up for missing Sunday's FA Cup semi-final in which Arsenal beat Wolves 1-0. However, he said he was now looking forward to playing in the final at Wembley. "It is great to have an FA Cup final to look forward to and I hope I can play in that," he said. "It's a dream come true to play at Wembley and I am looking forward to that. We are still challenging for the League title and I hope we can win that, too."
Liverpool's teenage talent Owen may have been beaten into third place in the main award, but he picked up the Young Players' Award. The young striker, who recently became the youngest England player this century, then set his sights on a World Cup-winners' medal. Owen said: "It is the dream of everyone who plays football to win a World Cup medal and I hope that if I go to France, I can be on the winning end of one. "My dad Terry is here and I owe him a big thank you and my parents and family have given me great support so far in my career. I would like to give a special thank you to Steve Heighway who has been great for me throughout my short career so far. I am proud to be part of what he's set up at Liverpool and there are more players coming through his youth team."
Owen, who collected his award from the former Liverpool striker Roger Hunt beat Southampton's Kevin Davies into second place while the West Ham defender Rio Ferdinand was third.
The PFA's Merit Award this year went to Coventry's veteran goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic who has spent 14 years at Highfield Road.
After collecting his trophy from former fellow goalkeeper Pat Jennings he said: "I love the game and it's a great to be playing in the best league in the world."
PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLERS' ASSOCIATION AWARDS: Player of the Year: Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal). Young Player of the Year: Michael Owen (Liverpool). Merit award: Steve Ogrizovic (Coventry). Divisional awards: Premiership select: Gary Neville, Gary Pallister, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt (all Manchester United), Nigel Martyn (Leeds), Graeme Le Saux (Chelsea), Colin Hendry (Blackburn), David Batty (Newcastle), Owen, Bergkamp. First Division: Alan Miller (West Bromwich), Kieron Dyer (Ipswich), Mauricio Taricco (Ipswich), Nigel Pearson (Middlesbrough), Colin Cooper (Forest), Lee Clark (Sunderland), Georgiou Kinkladze (Man City), Robbie Keane (Wolves), John Robinson (Charlton), Pierre Van Hooijdonk (Nottingham Forest), Paul Merson (Middlesbrough). Second Division: Alec Chamberlain (Watford), Gary Parkinson (Preston), Peter Kennedy (Watford), Shaun Taylor (Bristol City), Chris Coleman (Fulham), Kevin Donovan (Grimsby), John Hodge (Walsall), Paul Bracewell (Fulham), Paul Groves (Grimsby), Roger Boli (Walsall), Shaun Goater (Bristol City, now Manchester City). Third Division: Darren Ward (Notts County), Ian Hendon (Notts County), Dennis Pearce (Notts County), Gary Strodder (Notts County), Dean Walling (Lincoln), David Parnell (Peterborough), Scott Houghton (Peterborough), Jon Cullen (Hartlepool, now Sheffield Utd), Martin Ling (Leyton Orient), Jimmy Quinn (Peterborough), Rodney Jack (Torquay).
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