The North East Football Writers' Association award for the region's 2014 Player of the Year has been handed to combative Sunderland star Lee Cattermole in recognition of a string of fine performances for the Black Cats.
It caps a remarkable change of fortune for a footballer who almost found himself leaving the Stadium of Light in January when the club reportedly accepted a bid from Stoke City for his services.
However, manager Gus Poyet had the final say on the matter and chose to keep hold of Cattermole in the hope of witnessing a revival from the player personally and the team overall in their fight against relegation.
Declining the Potters' offer turned out to be the most vital decision of the Uruguayan's reign so far, with the tough-tackling Teessider delivering a consistent run of excellent form which recently saw him touted for a full England call-up.
26-year-old Cattermole has amassed 128 appearances for the club, but was beset by a mixture of injury and disciplinary problems prior to Poyet's arrival.
That has all changed now, as the Stockton-born star learned how to control his emotions and enjoyed a long spell in the starting line-up without any major lay-offs.
Receiving the award from the north-east's football writing community is testament to the marked improvement Cattermole has made in becoming absolutely integral to Poyet's plans on Wearside and is yet another step on the road to a senior international cap with England.
Former Sunderland player Jack Colback, now of Newcastle United, was beaten into second place by his former team-mate and another ex-Black Cat Grant Leadbitter finished third having been in sparkling form with Championship promotion chasers Middlesbrough.
The presentation evening takes place at Durham's Ramside Hall on Sunday 30th November.