Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has been voted the North-East Football Writers' Association's Player of the Year for 2012.

The Belgium international narrowly beat Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa with Magpies keeper Tim Krul in third place, while Middlesbrough keeper Jason Steele picked up the Young Player of the Year Award.

Mignolet said: "It is always a good thing to win individual awards as a footballer. Of course you want to win medals and trophies, but any individual accolade is always nice and I am very pleased. It is very kind of the journalists to vote for me."

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