Jan Paul van Hecke was named as Rovers’ player of the year for 2021/22 and in doing so became the first loanee to win the award.

The Dutchman was crowned the winner ahead of Rovers’ final home game of the season against Bournemouth.

The 21-year-old has started 25 consecutive matches and become a mainstay of the Rovers side since joining from Brighton & Hove Albion on loan.

His performances have made him a hit with the club’s supporters who voted him as their player of the year for 2021/22, much to the delight of van Hecke.

He will be formally presented with his award at Tuesday’s end of season awards dinner.

And van Hecke said: “First of all, thanks to all the supporters, the players, the staff and everyone around the club.

“It’s a really special feeling.

“I remember when I came and the first day the manager helped me a lot and to now be player of the year it’s amazing.

“If they respect me and how I play and they think you’re a good player and you’re player of the season, that’s a special feeling.

“The passion what I give in games, I think people appreciate that and if the fans were a player, maybe they would play like that.

“You have to give everything you have, but also have to play football because you can’t just run everywhere and if you can’t play the passes then people will say ‘he’s not good enough’.

“That’s why people like me I think.”

With nothing riding on the final day game at Birmingham City, van Hecke could have played his final game for the club, but Rovers have made their mark on the defender.

He said: “No matter what happens, this will always feel home.”

Two of Rovers’ end of season awards were announced prior to the Bournemouth fixture, with Reda Khadra making it a double for the club's Brighton loanees.

Khadra was unable to take part in the game due to injury, but was on hand to collect The Peter White Memorial Trophy for Rovers’ goal of the season.

The Brighton youngster topped the voting for his free kick against QPR in February.

Khadra held off competition from Tyrhys Dolan and Sam Gallagher whose strikes against Reading and Middlesbrough were second and third respectively.

Rovers’ end of season awards will also include the presentation of the young player of the year and players’ player of the year prizes which will be announced on the night.

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