Robson is Rocks’ big prizewinner

Craig Robson picks up his player of the year award from Dave Seabourne
Craig Robson picks up his player of the year award from Dave Seabourne

CRAIG ROBSON won the big prize as players and fans gathered to celebrate the Rocks’ season.

The centre-half, who scored some crucial goals and showed his versatility in midfield, won the supporters’ club player of the season award and got a warm ovation when he went up to collect the trophy.

The Seasons clubhouse was packed with supporters who watched a review of the season before numerous awards were handed out.

There was sadness as well as celebration in the air as two key men from the recent era, midfielder Kane Wills and centre-half Stuart Axten, said their farewells after deciding to leave the club.

Wills has signed for Margate and Axten is relocating to Scotland.

Both players picked up ‘special awards’ from supporters’ club chairman Sarah Warwick and were wished well by fans.

There was also a special award for James Crane, who was absent on the night but was rewarded for passing the 250-appearance mark during the season. He’s now the club’s longest-serving player by some distance.

The Terry Seabourne award for the most improved player went to young striker Ollie Pearce, who was second top scorer and virtually an ever-present during a campaign which saw Bognor finish third in the Ryman premier and reach their third Sussex Senior Cup final in five years.

Awards for fundraising and volunteering went to Phil Wollers – dad of full-back Daryl Wollers, whose walk from a home game to an away match at Hampton raised £5,000 for his son’s hip surgery – and Dave Robinson, who does a lot of unsung work behind the secenes for fans and the clun. Dave even weighed in with some match reports for the Observer in the season just finished.

The Sportsman’s Trophy, also given for doing a lot of work at Nyewood Lane, was awarded to Michael Hall, while tannoy announcer Richard Essen gave a typically big build-up as he handed out the prize for the top scorer ... to ‘Sooooooper Terry Dodd’.

Goal-of-the-season trophy went to Wills for his long-range strike at Lewes, while Robson also won the sponsors’ player-of-the-year gong, named by Viesmann, the club’s main sponsor for 2013-14. Robson made it a hat-trick of trophies when he picked up the players’ player trophy.

Team manager Jamie Howell praised players and fans, his backroom team and the army of volunteers who make the club tick as he reflected on a tough but successful season.

Among guests at the event were former Rocks legend Michael Birmingham, who revealed he was enjoying having retired from football to spend more time with his family.

The event doubled up as awards night for the Rocks under-18s – aka the Pebbles – and their linked youth team, Sidlesham under-18s.

Sids youth award-winners were Ben Mepham (top scorer), Jack Millard (manager’s player) and Callam Spencer (players’ player).

Pebbles winners were Ben Mepham and Joe Gromett (joint top scorer), Dale Hayes (young player), Alex Ansa (manager’s player) and Johan van Driel (players’ player).