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Yorkshire Post Sports Hero 2017 - David Wagner

GRAND DAY OUT: Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner celebrates with his players after clinching promotion to the Premier League at Wembley in May 2017. Picture: Simon Hulme.
GRAND DAY OUT: Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner celebrates with his players after clinching promotion to the Premier League at Wembley in May 2017. Picture: Simon Hulme.
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FROM the very outset just over a week ago, it was clear there was going to be one of our six finalists who would be the one to beat.

Early indications from the eventual thousands of votes we got for our annual poll - won last year by Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom - was that his 2016-17 Championship managerial rival David Wagner would be a popular choice.

SPORTS HERO: Huddersfield Town manager, David Wagner

SPORTS HERO: Huddersfield Town manager, David Wagner

No doubt, Huddersfield Town's fans 'got the vote out' as they say but, ultimately, the German was - much like 2016 winner Heckingbottom - a clear winner, collecting a whopping 55 per cent of the vote.

Castleford Tigers' head coach Daryl Powell, who led his team to the Super League League Leaders' Shield and a grand final runners-up spot, was the only other candidate to push Wagner close - at least in the first half of the week - coming in as our runner-up with 32 per cent of the vote.

Danny McGuire, who denied Castleford their dream finale at Old Trafford by captaining Leeds Rhinos to victory, was voted third by our readers.

Hannah Cockroft, Joe Root and Chris Wilder all enjoyed fantastic years in 2017 for various memorable reasons and should be saluted for some fantastic achievements.

For a breakdown of the vote and the list of candidates go HERE

The Yorkshire Post's chief football writer Richard Sutcliffe, who was there at Wembley to witness Wagner's highlight moment of 2017 when Huddersfield clinched promotion to the Premier League via a dramatic Championship play-off final penalty shoot-out, said the Town boss was a fully deserving recipient of the annual honour.

"Rarely can there have been a more deserving winner of this award than David Wagner in 2017," said Richard.

"Promotion for Huddersfield Town and an 11th place standing in the Premier League as the curtain came down on 2017 underlines the great work done by the German over the past 12 months.

"But it is perhaps the no-nonsense and dignified manner in which Wagner goes about his business that most impresses. He isn't one for courting headlines, nor does he seek personal praise. Instead, Wagner's work is all tailored towards the team ethic that has taken Huddersfield Town to heights that barely seemed achievable just 18 months ago."

Many thanks for taking the time to vote in our annual poll. A very Happy New Year to all our readers!