Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Ritchie wins the gold
10:21am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: MATT RITCHIE FORMER
Swindon Town winger Matt Ritchie was surprised to beat two Olympians to claim the Advertiser’s Sportsman of the Year award.
The 23-year-old was sold to Bournemouth in January, but before his departure played a vital role as Town swept all before them to claim the League Two title and surge to the top of League One under former manager Paolo Di Canio.
A host of man of the match displays and long-range goals earned Ritchie the title of League Two player of the year, and the winger was proud to add the Advertiser’s award to his collection as he beat off competition from Olympians Pete Reed and Andrew Nicholson and Swindon Robins star Peter Kildemand.
“It’s great to have won the award, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and the manager, and everyone at the club while I was there,” he said.
“To be given an award like that, which is voted for by the fans, is really nice, and it is great to be appreciated and have my hard work recognised by everyone.
“There were people who competed in the Olympics who were up for the award, so to beat them is a bit of a surprise and a great feeling because they obviously achieved a lot during the year.”
Ritchie’s former teammate Nathan Thompson was on hand to pick up the award on his behalf, and was full of praise for the winger’s contribution to the Town cause.
He said: “Obviously Matt has gone to Bournemouth now, but he played a really important role for us and scored some great goals.
“He was an important player in our team, and it is great he was recognised by the fans like this.”