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Willian at the double

Willian is both the Chelsea Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year, the honours announced at the Annual Awards at Stamford Bridge on Friday night.

The Brazilian is the third to win both accolades in the same year, following on from Eden Hazard last season and Juan Mata in 2013.

Willian is the 50th winner of the Player of the Year which is voted for by supporters and on this occasion was presented by Guus Hiddink. It recognises a season in which the Brazil international’s 11 goals especially have caught the eye. Six have been scored from direct free-kicks. 

‘It was a great season for me and I hope I stay at that level next season and play better game by game,’ Willian said on being handed the Yokohama Chelsea Player of the Year trophy.

‘Thanks to the fans for the support and I think next season we will win titles for them.’ 

Eden Hazard’s stunning strike against Tottenham earlier this month was picked by supporters as the best goal scored by a Chelsea player this season.

The Belgian’s equaliser at the Bridge in that epic London derby was singled out from a choice of seven by Blues fans. 

Academy graduate Ruben Loftus-Cheek was named the Chelsea Young Player of the Year.

The 20-year-old midfielder received the award from the 2002 Player of the Year Carlo Cudicini, following a maiden full campaign as a member of the first team squad.

Loftus-Cheek has made 16 appearances this season and scored two goals from midfield, including his first for the senior team in an FA Cup tie against Scunthorpe in January, and then his first in the Premier League against Aston Villa last month. He also established himself as a regular in the England Under-21s side and netted his first goal at that level in October.

‘I would like to say thank you for this award,’ said Loftus-Cheek. ‘I train hard every day and try to be at my best and when that opportunity comes it is tough, so for me to get this award at the end of the season means a lot.’

Eighteen-year-old Fikayo Tomori is the Academy Player of the Year, the award presented by Paulo Ferreira. The 18-year-old has enjoyed a season of significant success, not only as part of the defence that helped win the UEFA Youth League and the FA Youth Cup but also as a goalscorer in the final of both prestigious competitions. He helped the Academy lift those cups a year earlier as well.

Having joined Chelsea as an Under-8, Tomori has represented the club at Under-21 level and is a Canada Under-20 international although he is also qualified to play for England. On Wednesday night at Anfield he was on the first team substitutes’ bench for the first time. 

Earlier on at the Awards, Katie Chapman was named Chelsea Ladies Player of the Year after captaining Emma Hayes's side to glory in league and cup last year. She will lead the side out at Wembley on Saturday aiming to replicate that Women's FA Cup triumph this time around. 

There were two moments of special recognition during the evening, adding to the sense of occasion. The first was for John Terry for reaching the remarkable figure of 700 Chelsea appearances this season, becoming only the third player in our history to do so in the process. Tributes were paid to a clearly emotional captain on video by a host of Chelsea greats.

Guus Hiddink was the recipient of a set of personalised golf clubs - to thank the manager for his work at the club during his two spells in charge. This season he helped reverse our fortunes having taken over before Christmas, once again proving a popular figure with players and staff alike. He will be missed.

The Chelsea Player of the Year Awards ceremony raised money for our charity partner Plan International and the Chelsea Foundation. Hosts for the evening were Chris Hollins, a BBC presenter and son of our former midfielder John, and Christine Lampard, wife of Frank who joined in the tributes to Terry and Hiddink.  

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