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Richie Towell is the Irish Soccer Writers’ Personality of the Year for 2015

Meanwhile, the performances of Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers were also recognised.

Richie Towell has been rewarded for a sensational season with Dundalk.
Richie Towell has been rewarded for a sensational season with Dundalk.
Image: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

RICHIE TOWELL WAS named ‘Personality of the Year’ at the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ of Ireland (SWAI) awards last night.

The 24-year-old was rewarded for an excellent season in which he scored 29 goals, helping Dundalk achieve a historic SSE Airtricity League and FAI Cup double before joining Brighton, for whom he could make his debut in the FA Cup today.

Towell overcame strong competition from fellow nominees, including Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny (last year’s winner) and midfielder Daryl Horgan, who were the Brighton player’s closest challengers in the voting.

Shane Keegan, the manager who guided Wexford Youths to the First Division title, Cork City boss John Caulfield and Shamrock Rovers youngster Brandon Miele also made the shortlist.

rogers Gary Rogers receives his award from Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Source: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

Meanwhile, Dundalk’s Gary Rogers was named ‘Goalkeeper of the Year’. The 34-year-old joined the club from Sligo Rovers in the close season, going on to secure 15 clean sheets as his side comfortably won the league. The Navan native won the award ahead of fellow nominees Mark McNulty (Cork City) and Micheal Schlingermann (Drogheda United).

The Special Merit award went to 86-year-old Arthur Fitzsimons, who played 26 times for the Republic of Ireland during the 1940s and 50s, and also played with Shelbourne, Middlesbrough, Mansfield Town and Drogheda United, before going on to manage Drogheda and Shamrock Rovers.

Finally, a presentation was made for Ireland legend Damien Duff, a special guest on the night, who recently announced his retirement from football.

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Paul Fennessy

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