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Award Is A Big Honour Says James

25 March 2013

We chat to Luke James after he was crowned League One Apprentice of the Year at The Football League Awards.

Luke James was still coming to terms with being named League One's Apprentice of the Year at Sunday night's Football League Awards when we caught up with him this morning as he prepared to head back to the north east. 

The 18-year-old was unveiled as the 2013 winner in front of a packed house at the gala ceremony attended by over 600 at The Brewery in London. 

His trophy was handed over by PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor before he was interviewed on stage by Manish Bhasin, host of the evening and presenter of The Football League Show on BBC One. 

And James admitted that the night was one big dream for him and revealed that he never expected to come home with the award, which was judged not only on football achievements but also work done on the educational side. 

"It was a great feeling for me even though I was very nervous - it was the most nervous I've ever been I think!" he told us. 

"The whole evening was like a whirlwind; I didn't expect to win at all, I was honestly just happy to be there and be a part of the night. 

"It's a big honour for me to win when it's judged on work on and off the pitch; I was delighted to even be considered for the award without being actually given it. 

"At times balancing my school work and football has been hard but the rewards are there in the end so I just want to keep on working hard at both." 

James said he had been overwhelmed by the support and well-wishes he received from colleagues and supporters in the run-up to and the aftermath of the awards. 

And he admitted he was looking forward to placing his trophy down for all to see on display in his living room at home. 

"It will be straight on the mantelpiece with pride of place," he laughed. 

"When I went up on stage I could feel my phone vibrating in my pocket and it was my mam and dad trying to get in touch - I rang them when I got back to the table and they were screaming down the phone and I'm glad I've been able to make them proud.

"I had loads of message from the players too to congratulate me which is really nice and I had so many tweets from fans wishing me well, it was amazing - they've had a hard season so it's for them really. 

"I'd also like to thank John Hughes, Micky Barron and all of the coaching staff who have given me the chance to win this award. 

"And I'd also like to thank John Hewitson who has always supported me and came down to London to attend the awards with me." 

Fans Questions 

How did it feel when your name was read out in front of so many famous faces? 
Jordan Richardson via Twitter 

"It was unbelievable really; I was just so excited and nervous all in one. There were lots of great players in the room and I got to meet a few of the award winners too. I spoke to Phil Parkinson (Bradford City manager) - it was no surprise he won his award after taking them to the Cup Final. I also met Gianfranco Zola - what a legend he is, and a very nice man too. 

"I think one of the highlights of the night (for me and John Hewitson!!) was meeting Hayley McQueen from Sky Sports!" 

Did they serve mini sausage rolls and chipolatas? I'll be disappointed if they didn't! 
Chris Doughty via Twitter 

"Haha, no they didn't! The starter was scallops and then we had pork belly for main course which was very nice. But the dessert was weird - I think it was ice cream with broccoli! That's what it looked like anyway - John and I were wondering where the chips were!"

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