Jim Montgomery wins The Jackie Milburn Award

Jim Montgomery’s lifetime contribution to football was recognised recently when he was presented with the Jackie Milburn Award at the annual BBC North East and Cumbria Sports Awards at Sunderland University’s award-winning CitySpace building on Chester Road.

Monty had been invited to the event to present the trophy to North East Sports Personality of the Year Chris Hughton and was clearly surprised and when he received the award at the end of the evening.

When asked by event compere Jeff Brown whether he thought his all-time record of 627 appearances for the Sunderland would ever beaten, an emotional Monty replied: “No, I don’t think so although this probably isn’t the best week to be talking about club loyalty! But I think the era when you saw one player spending a dozen or more years with just one club is very much a thing of the past. I stayed at Sunderland simply because I loved it just as Kevin Ball did and just as Jordan Henderson does now.”

Kevin Ball, who presented the award to Monty said: “You couldn’t get a more worthy recipient of the award than Monty. When I first came to the North East I wasn’t particularly fond of Jimmy because not many people know that as a nine-year-old I was a Leeds United supporter!

But he’s a fantastic professional, who loves Sunderland and has an integrity and honesty about him that you can only admire. When I go into the Stadium of Light or the Academy and I see my own picture up on the wall with images of the teams I was involved in, I’m proud they hang next to pictures of Monty and his era.”