History man Maloney wins double award

SHAUN Maloney had double cause for celebration last night when he was named both the Scottish Professional Footballers Association player of the year and young player of the year.

It is the first time in the history of the awards, now sponsored by law firm Digby Brown, that the same player has lifted both trophies.

The 23-year-old Celtic striker beat off a strong challenge from team-mate Stilian Petrov, Rangers striker Kris Boyd and Hearts midfielder Rudi Skacel to lift the player of the year trophy.

It was the same story in the young player of the year category, where Maloney came out ahead of Rangers pair Chris Burke and Kris Boyd and Kilmarnock's Steven Naismith.

English football legend Sir Tom Finney received a Special Merit Award in honour of his outstanding contribution to the game of football.

Maloney and Sir Tom were presented with their awards by SPFA senior officer Tony Higgins at the Digby Brown/SPFA dinner in the Glasgow Thistle Hotel.

Last week, Craig Gordon of Hearts was presented with the Scottish Football Writers Association player of the year award. Steven Naismith was named the writers' young player of the year.