SAM Vokes says getting the backing of the Burnley fans has made up for his season coming to a cruel, premature end.
The striker was voted overall player of the year at the supporters’ clubs’ end of season presentation night, scooping five of the individual honours and sharing one with top scorer Danny Ings.
Despite facing at least six months on the sidelines after undergoing surgery to repair the knee ligament damage he suffered against Leicester City last month, Vokes is still able to reflect on a “great season”, having scored 20 Championship goals to help secure Premier League football.
And he said recognition from the various supporters groups was the icing on the cake.
“It’s a great feeling winning the awards, especially as it’s down to the fans really – they’re the people who come week in week out. It’s great to be recognised by them,” said Vokes.
“I won ‘moment of the season’for the Blackburn header, but this year obviously tops it. It’s been a great season.”
Vokes, who shared one of the prizes with Ings, said of his strike partner: “He’s been fantastic this year,” adding that he was not surprised that the 12 player of the year awards were spread out between him, Ings, captain Jason Shackell, goalkeeper Tom Heaton, wide man Scott Arfield and right back Kieran Trippier.
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“I think all the lads could have won awards with this team effort this year.”
And the Wales international said he was glad to be including in the promotion party, although admitted the celebrations after beating Wigan to confirm Premier League football proved draining so soon after his operation.
“I was here for the Wigan game, but that took a lot out of me. It was my first trip out of the house,” he said.
“I was a bit pale afterwards but I think all the dancing around on my crutches had a lot to do with it.
“But I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it. It was an emotional day for everyone involved, and a great day to be involved in.”
For Vokes, the hard work is just starting on his road to recovery.
“It’s going to be a long road back but it's one I’ll work hard on over the summer to get back,” said the striker, who had a post-op check-up with his surgeon in London yesterday.
“I’m can't put a time on it yet, but Premier League football’s a big incentive. There are exciting times coming up.”