FORMER SUNDERLAND striker Kevin Phillips will be recognised at the 10th annual Football League awards tonight.
Phillips will be handed the Tom Finney Award at the presentation night in London - a prize which recognises outstanding careers in the Football League’s competitions.
It’s all I ever wanted to be, I devoted my life to it and the game has given me so much in returnKevin Phillips
The 41-year-old retired as a player at the end of last season after netting 272 goals in 660 senior appearances, 130 of which were scored during his six years at the Stadium of Light.
“I’m extremely proud and truly privileged to accept this award and I’d like to thank The Football League, which has given me so many fantastic memories during my 20 years as a professional footballer,” said Phillips.
“It’s all I ever wanted to be, I devoted my life to it and the game has given me so much in return.
“It’s a bit more special that the award is now so closely associated to Sir Tom Finney – one of the greatest players, gentlemen and role models English football has ever seen.
“If my career can help inspire a fraction of the people Sir Tom’s did, I’ll count it among my finest achievements.”
Phillips, now a coach at Leicester, won promotion from the Championship on five separate occasions - the first of which was Sunderland’s record-breaking title win in 1998-99.
Shaun Harvey, chief executive of The Football League, said: “This award is made to a player that sets the standard for others to aspire to and Kevin Phillips is a worthy winner.
“He has enjoyed a fabulous playing career and has been a credit to himself and his profession.
“It is no exaggeration to say that virtually every club in The Football League would have wanted Kevin in their squad at any point in his professional career.”