WATCH: Jermain Defoe reacts to receiving player of the year award

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Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe was last night crowned the North East Football Writers’ Player of the Year.

But how did the 34-year-old frontman react to getting the award?

Here he speaks with our man Richard Mennear about his honour at being recognised for his recent achievements at the Stadium of Light.

Defoe's goals helped Sunderland towards Premier League safety last season and he is again the leading light this campaign, with 14 strikes as they again battle to beat the drop, this time under David Moyes.

His goal tally is all the more remarkable given the Black Cats’ league position.

Defoe is the 37th winner of the North East writers’ award, and follows former Sunderland strikers Darren Bent, Kevin Phillips, Niall Quinn and Marco Gabbiadini.

Jermain Defoe.

Jermain Defoe.

Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson was second in the voting, and Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles third.

Elsewhere, it was a good night for Wearside as England Under-21 international goalkeeper Jordan Pickford collected the Young Player of the Year, while England Ladies skipper Steph Houghton, from South Hetton, was the Women’s Player of the Year.