The quality and effort put in by Workington Reds skipper Gari Rowntree has been recognised this year.

The left-back was the winner of the inaugural News & Star and Times & Star Readers’ Player of the Year, coming out with a high percentage of the votes.

And he received his award from chairman John Mackay at the club’s annual presentation night.

Despite the relegation heartache, Workington Reds’ spirits were uplifted when the efforts of the players were recognised on the night.

Cub officials and supporters lifted the doom and gloom with a night of celebration at the Washington Central Hotel on Friday.

In a special night rivalling the PFA awards for glitz and glamour, Reds’ commercial officer Darrell Thomas emerged as a more than capable MC.

The Reds Independent Supporters Club were first to the stage and they paid tribute to three of their members, Elaine Heron, Darren Wood and Graham Bates before recognising the work made by director Ross Peacock for liaising with the various groups that operate under the club’s umbrella.

They also selected two players who had made an impact throughout the season – Niall Cowperthwaite and Luke Ivison.

Reds Reserves turned out in force and there was warm applause for Players’ Player of the Year recipient, Nathan Dryden, and Player of the Year Joe Hetherington as they collected their trophies.

Dryden also collected the Golden Boot after finishing as top scorer with 19 goals – a tally that included four goals in one match at Hyde United.

Gari Rowntree, who has admitted that his playing days are numbered due to injury, was voted the Supporters’ Player of the Year for the first team while Niall Cowperthwaite picked up the coveted Players’ Player of the Year accolade.

Club director, Mike Rollo, then presented an engraved tankard to long serving groundsman, Jeff Curwen, who battled bravely through 12 months of Cumbrian weather preparing the pitch for match day.

Three club stalwarts were honoured for their long and distinguished service with engraved pieces of glassware.

They went to David Hewson for his 15 years as player, coach and manager, plus outgoing boss Lee Andrews for 11 years as player, coach and manager. Captain Gari Rowntree was also recognised for his 400 appearances for the Borough Park club.

John Mackay concluded the presentations when the inaugural Chairman’s Award, an engraved silver salver, was handed to Lee Andrews.

An enjoyable evening was brought to an end with an impromptu auction of football

memorabilia before Ashy’s Disco provided some tunes.