Jason Steele - Photo-Graham Bell, MFC

Sponsored by Barclays, the dinner at Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham is an annual highlight in the local football calendar.

It was attended by a star-studded guest list including players, managers, directors and officials from all of the region's clubs.

Once again, the dinner raised money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and over the last three years the event has raised more than £12,000 for the North East cancer charity.

Sir Bobby was a regular guest at the dinner and last year a new award was introduced to recognise those individuals closely connected to North East football who, like the former Newcastle United manager, had also made a significant contribution to the wider community.

This year the recipient of the North East Football Writers' Association's Personality of the Year, in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, was former Newcastle, Sunderland and Hartlepool defender Robbie Elliott.

Awards for performances on the pitch were more tightly-contested than the Personality of the Year.

After a close vote, the North East Football Writers' Association Player of the Year for 2012 was awarded to Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, while the Young Player award went to Boro's Steele.

This award comes on top of the Middlesbrough Disabled Supporters Association Player of the Year trophy he received at the Riverside recently.

Jason Steele - Photo-Graham Bell, MFC

Robbie Elliott received a landslide vote in recognition of his great efforts raising money to fight cancer through Bike For Bobby, a 3,500-mile cycle ride between all the clubs managed by Sir Bobby.

Colin Young, secretary of the North East Football Writers' Association, says: "It's inevitable that there are disagreements about who should win which award, that's what makes the night so special.

"We're football journalists so we all have strong opinions but there were no disagreements about selecting Robbie. His efforts raising money to fight cancer were absolutely remarkable. He deserves this recognition and more.

"This is always a special night and it's good to look back over last season and take a break from what's happening this year. It's also one of the rare occasions when all of the region's clubs come together and it seems very fitting to be raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation."

The charity funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that directly benefit cancer patients from across the North East and Cumbria and which contribute significantly to research into the disease.