Southampton's Rickie Lambert has been named the npower Championship Player of the Year at the Football League Awards 2012.
Lambert received the award at the gala ceremony at The Brewery, London, on Sunday evening in front of over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry. This year there were a total of 17 awards with 32 clubs shortlisted for honours.
Lambert beat two other shortlisted Championship players to the Award, Cardiff City's Peter Whittingham and Southampton teammate Adam Lallana.
Prolific in front of goal, Rickie joined Southampton from Bristol Rovers in the early part of the 2009/10 campaign as the joint top scorer in English football from the previous year. His deadly form continued on the south coast as he notched up a further 35 goals in his first season, including strikes during his Saints debut and at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final. Also formerly of Blackpool, Macclesfield Town, Stockport County and Rochdale, the Liverpool-born hitman has amassed a collection of stunning dead ball strikes from a range of distances. He has taken the npower Championship by storm this season, sitting well clear at the top of the goal scoring charts.
On winning his award, Lambert said: "I am very proud but surprised because I thought my team-mate Adam Lallana was going to win it. I have said countless times I think he is the best player in the league; he is something special. To get the award ahead of him is a real honour.
"Scoring goals with Adam around is a whole lot easier. Without the attacking players in our squad I wouldn't have been able to get this trophy."
The npower Player of the Year for League 1 was won by Huddersfield Town's Jordan Rhodes, while the League 2 Award went to Swindon Town's Matt Ritchie.
The shortlist was produced after managers from every Championship club were asked to submit their top five players of the season, excluding players from their own club.
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of Award categories, please visit www.FLAwards.com.