Ghana’s Jordan Ayew has paid glowing tributes to former Olympique de Marseille president Pape Diouf following his award as the Player Of The Season for Crystal Palace.
The 28-year-old forward only made his deal at the Eagles permanent at the start of the season and notched nine goals in 39 games.
The Black Stars forward managed an impressive 37 per cent of the total votes from almost 6,000 supporters beating goalie Vicente Guaita (28.2%) and former Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill (16.7%) to scoop the individual accolade.
In an emotional acceptance speech on Palace TV’s End of Season Awards show – Ayew said: “I’ve worked so hard to get into the team and I think the first season I came into this team wasn’t the best but the club had faith in me, the club wanted me to stay and I wanted to stay as well.
“I had the desire to have a better season and things have gone so well. I’m just grateful.
“I want to thank everyone at the football club; I want to thank the fans especially, they’ve been massive for us this season, for me especially they’ve been massive. I’d like to thank all the people that supported me within the difficult moments that I had in my football career.
“When I have this type of award I just think of my family and obviously of the fans. And one man that’s been so influential in my football career: that’s [mentor and former Olympique de Marseille president] Pape Diouf. I lost him within the period of COVID and he passed away, I wish he was still here so I could present him this.”