Date: 24th April 2006 at 3:16pm
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Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard says Wayne Rooney will succeed him as Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year.

Gerrard was presented with the 2006 trophy at a gala dinner in London on Sunday night after he topped the poll as voted for by his colleagues ahead of the other five leading candidates – Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, Manchester United star Rooney and Chelsea trio Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry, last year’s winner.

Gerrard: ‘Wayne is a fantastic talent – and I am sure it will not be too long before Wayne is sitting exactly where I am now.

‘I am still in shock to be honest. If you look at the shortlist, there are five other guys who have so much talent. They are all special players.

‘And then there are also the guys who have not made the shortlist – there are so many players who could have won this award.

‘I looked at the list of past winners and there are some fantastic names on there – some legends, so I am really proud to have joined them, it is really special.

‘It has been one of the best weekends of my life. To go through to another FA Cup final and win this special award is fantastic for me.’