The 19th eircom/FAI International Soccer Awards were announced before over 800 guests, including the Minister for Education and Science, Mr Batt O’Keeffe, at Citywest Hotel, Saggart tonight.
Eighteen awards were announced live on RTÉ 2, including the Senior International Player accolade, which was awarded to Kevin Doyle.
The Young Player award went to Aiden McGeady, while Owen Garvan captured the Under 21 award, with Michael Spillane picking up the Under 19 Player of the Year Award.
Former Republic of Ireland player Arthur Fitzsimons entered the Hall of Fame in recognition of his formidable talent and dedication to the national side during the 1950s.
The Special Merit award was handed to former FIFA referee Eddie Foley, who retired this year having enjoyed a career as one of Ireland’s most successful and respected referees.
Eddie was the only official ever from the Republic of Ireland to have been appointed to the World Cup finals and the European Championship finals.
The International Goal of the Year Award, which was voted on by the public, went to Andy Keogh for his strike in the 1-1 friendly draw against Serbia in Giovanni Trapattoni’s first international game in charge on May 24th 2008.
Recipient of the International Personality of the Year Award was Ruud Gullit. Gullit was captain of the Netherlands national team that won the European Championship in 1989.
He also enjoyed an illustrious club career, playing for top European clubs PSV Eindhoven, AC Milan, Sampdoria and Chelsea, where he later moved into a successful career in management and led the club to victory in the 1997 FA Cup.
Among the many honours he has received, Ruud was named European Footballer of the year in 1987 and World Soccer player of the year in 1987 and 1989.
The winners in full:
Kevin Doyle - Reading
Aiden McGeady - Celtic
Owen Garvan – Ipswich Town
International Goal of the Year
Andy Keogh v Serbia (H) 24/05/08
League of Ireland
Brian Murphy - Bohemian FC
Michael Spillane - Norwich
Aaron Doran – Blackburn Rovers
Mark O'Brien – Derby County
Derek Prendergast – Bangor Celtic
Seamus Crowe – Athenry
Niamh Fahey – Arsenal
Karen Duggan – Piltown (Kilkenny)
Ciara Grant – Kilmacrennan Celtic
John Mulroy – Moyle Park College
Football For All
Stephen Coleman – Street Leagues
Hall of Fame