Lampard proud to win Footballer of Year award

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Frank Lampard has beaten off the challenge of his Chelsea and England team-mate John Terry to land the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

The Chelsea and England midfielder becomes only the second Englishman since Alan Shearer in 1994 to win football's oldest and most prestigious individual award - Teddy Sheringham was the other, in 2001. Lampard and Terry polled more than 90 per cent of the votes, with the Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher finishing a distant third.

Lampard was runner-up to Thierry Henry in last year's Footballer of the Year award, as well as coming second for two years running in the Professional Footballers' Association's Player of the Year award, won by Terry last month.

"It means a massive amount to me," he said. "The recognition is nice and I've been knocking on the door to win one [an award] for a couple of years now, so it's nice to have my time. It's a very prestigious award - I've looked down the history of players who have won it and I'm proud my name's alongside theirs."

He added: "There's a core of players who have been here a few years - John Terry, Eidur Gudjohnsen and myself - and we have looked on enviously as Arsenal and Manchester United won leagues and cups. We have been slightly behind that but our club's new owner has moved us up to a new level.

"I'm very pleased for John and Eidur. I remember when we were all sat on the bench for the game against Prague [2003-04] and we were all pretty fearful for our future because the big Champions' League game had come and we were on the bench. But we have all established ourselves now.

"It is self-evident here that there are no favourites on the pitch. You have to keep doing your stuff and that's the pressure of being at Chelsea. I think my confidence has got to the stage where I don't worry about who the club buy and how much they spend. I just concentrate on myself, I keep my head down and work on my own game."

Elsewhere, Lampard's England midfield colleague Stewart Downing has been named Middlesbrough's Player of the Year by his team-mates. The 20-year-old polled 65 per cent of the votes ahead of Bolo Zenden and Franck Queudrue.

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