Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips handed England player of the year gong by Declan Rice after Euro 2020 heroicsSeptember 1, 2021
KALVIN PHILLIPS has won England's 2020-21 player-of-the-year award.
The Leeds ace was handed the gong by his midfield partner Declan Rice at the Three Lions training camp.
Phillips only made his debut last September but shone for the Three Lions as England made history by reaching the final of Euro 2020.
Th 25-year-old was a guaranteed starter throughout the tournament as Gareth Southgate's side eventually lost to Italy in the final.
And he has been recognised by more than 40,000 England fans across the proud country.
The BT award was handed over by West Ham star Rice – who stayed with the East Londoners despite reported interest from elsewhere.
Rice spoke to camera and revealed he was going to surprise Phillips with the the trophy.
The 22-year-old made his way to Phillips at England's St George's Park base.
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He hid the award behind his back but eventually broke the news to the Leeds star who was speechless.
Phillips said: "What? Swear down? Oh my God."
Laughing Rice replied: "Mate, fully deserved. Unbelievable. And as your midfield partner, I had to come and present it to you."
Phillips described it as sick but admitted he was wary of well-known prankster Rice as he approached.
He grinned and said: "I can't believe it. I thought you were going to do something to me, that's why I stepped away."
And pressed on whether he expected such recognition having only made his England bow 12 months prior, Phillips joked: "No, I wouldn't have expected to play to be honest."
And he also quipped: "40,000 votes? Definitely Leeds fans."
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Phillips made his England debut against Denmark in the 0-0 Nations League draw on September 8 last year.
That was his first of 15 appearances so far.
And after playing all-but 35 minutes of England's Euro campaign, it doesn't look like he is going anywhere soon.
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