Steve Coates admits lifting the Football League Trust Every Player Counts 2012 Player of the Year prize has made it a perfect season after watching his home town club Reading promoted to the Premier League.

"Seeing Reading win promotion was amazing, but winning this award is such a special honour for me and my family," said the 16-year-old goalkeeper, who was presented with his award by England goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks at the 2012 Grassroots Football Show at Birmingham.

"I love playing football and Reading has helped me to play every week - it has given my life so much."

Steven, who also lifted the Every Player Counts Player of the Year prize for Midlands and the South West and attends the Avenue Special Educational Needs School in Tilehurst, was born with Cerebral Palsy and was in a wheelchair until he started using a walking frame.

He later began walking with quad sticks and after a tremendous amount of hard work with the school's Move programme he is now able to walk short distances unaided.

Reading's Disability Development Officer Phil Griffiths said: "This is a fantastic achievement for Steven, he has so much character, spirit and determination - he is a very special person."

Steven's father Gary said: "We are so proud of what he has achieved.

"He is a phenomenally determined boy, and has battled through so much in his life.

"He lost his mother a couple of years ago, but through his courage and determination he has continued to make amazing progress.

"This award means so much to him."

Steven has been with the Football League Trust Every Player Counts project since January 2010 and thanks to intensive training and specially fitted shoes and sticks Steven has shown a huge increase in areas of personal development, especially in his ability, balance, co-ordination and stamina during sessions.

Last season, Steven was chosen as the mascot for Reading's Championship clash against Blackpool at the Madejski Stadium.

Phil Griffiths added: "It was our Disability Day at the club and it was a special reward for Steven's application and hard work.

"Steven has come on in leaps and bounds and has grown significantly in confidence and he will cherish this award."

Every Player Counts, a leading project of the Football League Trust, is supported by The Football Pools who donated £2.59 million to the project.

The scheme now includes 48 Football League clubs, which are growing disability sport provision across England and Wales.

Mike Evans, General Manager for the Football League Trust, said: "We received some outstanding nominations for this year's awards from our 48 participating clubs, but Steven stood out for his sheer commitment and enthusiasm to play football to the best of his ability. Steven epitomises the spirit of the Every Player Counts project and we congratulate him, his coaching staff and his family who all came to cheer him along today."