Watford's Matej Vydra has been named the npower Championship Player of the Year at The Football League Awards 2013.
Gianfranco Zola received the award on behalf of his star striker, voted for by Championship club managers, 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 34 clubs shortlisted for honours.
Vydra beat two other shortlisted npower Championship players to the Award, Blackpool's Thomas Ince and Crystal Palace's Glenn Murray.
Vydra has thrived under the tutelage of Gianfranco Zola at Vicarage Road this season and the on-loan Czech has already reached the 20 goal milestone, including netting six braces. His contribution means the pacey forward has become a key part of the Hornets team that is challenging for npower Championship honours this season.
On collecting the award, Zola said: "He deserves it, he has done incredible things for us and I am pleased and proud to collect the award on his behalf.
"Since he came to the club he has showed very good qualities. He was on the bench for a while, but he stayed patient and as soon as he got the opportunity he started to score goals and he hasn't stopped."
The npower Player of the Year for League 1 was won by AFC Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie, while the League 2 Award went to Port Vale's Tom Pope.
The shortlists were produced after managers from every club were asked to submit their top five players of the season from their division, excluding players from their own club.
Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football League, said: "The Football League Awards 2013 has given us another opportunity to celebrate success at League clubs both on and off the pitch. It gives us the chance to reward those who have achieved fantastic results throughout the year. I would like to congratulate tonight's winners and all those who were nominated."
Other notable winners on the night included Blackpool's Thomas Ince, who walked away with the npower Young Player of the Year and Bradford City's Phil Parkinson who won the award for Outstanding Managerial Achievement.
Peter Shilton OBE received the prestigious Contribution to League Football Award. Previous winners include Shrewsbury Town manager Graham Turner, Crewe Alexandra Director of Football Dario Gradi MBE and PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor OBE.
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of Award categories, please visit www.FLAwards.com.