A FORMER York student is feeling "beyond grateful" after being named as the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Women’s Player of the Year.

Harrogate-born Rachel Daly saw off competition from last year’s winner Sam Kerr, Manchester City’s Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw, Frida Maanum, Guro Reiten and Ona Battle to take home the prestigious accolade last night.

She was also named in the PFA Women’s Super League Team of the Year.

Manchester City’s record-breaking striker Erling Haaland took home the Men’s award, whilst Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and rising England talent Lauren James were named as the Young Players of the Year.

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The accolades were awarded based on performances across the 2022/23 season, in which Daly won the Women’s Super League Golden Boot after netting 22 times in as many games for Aston Villa as they earned a fifth-placed finish.

Daly, who studied a Diploma in Sport at York College, had previously collected two Player of the Month awards before being named as the Women’s Super League Player of the Season.

Those achievements are made even more remarkable considering her primary role at left-back for her country during their successful EURO’s campaign last summer.

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The 31-year-old was handed the number nine shirt for England’s Women’s World Cup bid, scoring the Lionesses’ sixth and final goal in their 6-1 rout of China in the group stages, as well as in the decisive penalty shootout as Sarina Wiegman’s side sealed their place in the Quarter Finals with victory over Nigeria, before going on to lose to Spain in the trophy-crowning match.

Taking to social media, Daly said, “Wow, what an honour to have won this award. Feeling beyond grateful.”

Aston Villa and team-mate Kirsty Hanson also expressed their congratulations, saying “Congratulations on a thoroughly deserved award, @RachelDaly3!” and “Unreal! So deserved, we’re all proud of you @RachelDaly3.”

PFA Women’s Player of the Year: Rachel Daly, Men’s Player of the Year: Erling Haaland, Young Players of the Year: Lauren James & Bukayo Saka, PFA Women’s Super League Team of the Season: Mary Earps, Ona Batlle, Maya Le Tissier, Alex Greenwood, Rafaelle Souza, Guro Reiten, Frida Maanum, Yui Hasegawa, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw, Rachel Daly, Sam Kerr.