Adrian was presented the Bob Cass Award for outstanding contributions to North East football at Sunday evening's annual association dinner at Ramside Hall.

Middlesbrough-born and a lifelong supporter of the club, Adrian rejoined the club as Head of Recruitment Operations in May 2018 having worked as part of our Communications team in the early stages of his career in the mid-1990s.

Adrian spent 17 years with the English FA, including a decade of Director of Communications and several as Managing Director of the England National team structure, later working with the Welsh FA, UEFA, and several other clubs in various consultancy capacities before making his return to Boro.

Elsewhere on the night, former Newcastle United and England striker Alan Shearer was honoured for his many achievements away from the football pitch with the North East Personality of the Year trophy, a special award given in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Other recipients of NEFWA awards included Men’s Player of the Year (Martin Dubravka), Young Player of the Year (Josh Maja) and Womens’ Player of the Year (Beth Hepple), while presentations were made to Stockton Town FC, South Shields FC, Marske United in recognition of their successes last season. 

Louise Wanless, Head of Communication and Marketing at Sunderland AFC and another former member of MFC's Communications team, also had her achievements recognised, receiving the John Fotheringham Award.

Colin Young, secretary of the North East Football Writers’ Association, said: “This is always a special night, bringing together the region’s football family and celebrating the best of the game.

“The focus is often on the Player of the Year awards and we were proud to honour both Martin Dubravka and Beth Hepple.

“However, it’s also very important that we recognise the significant contributions made by dedicated individuals within the game and the wider community, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to do that last night.”