Jordan Ayew has paid tribute to the late Pape Diouf after scooping three accolades at the Crystal palace end of the Season Awards night.
The Ghana Black Stars forward was named the Crystal Palace Player of the Season, Player’s Player of the Season as well as picking the Goal of the Season at the awards night.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ayew dedicated his Player of the Season award to Pape Diouf, his former club president at Olympique de Marseille and mentor who sadly passed away in March this year.
“I’m lost for words. It’s a really, really big moment for me. 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 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.
“He was so influential in my football career, he was the one who opened the doors for me to start playing football. He was more than a father so I’d like to thank him very, very much. Because if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today, so that’s my message I have for him.
“And my parents have been supportive, my dad and my mum, they have been there since day one, for hard times; they’ve been there for me, always been positive with me. My brothers as well have been so supportive, lovely.
“I’m short of words because I’m a bit sad at the moment but I’d like to thank the coaching staff that have given me the opportunity to express myself this season. I’d like to thank my teammates because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have this award.
“And obviously I’d like to thank the fans one last time for this season and for the support they’ve given us this season, especially me. Hopefully next season will be a better one and hopefully we can finish as high as possible.”
Jordan Ayew was the Eagles’ top scorer in the just ended Premier League, having scored nine goals in 38 top-flight appearances.
The 28-year-old became the highest-scoring Ghanaian in Premier League history – scoring 25 times to beat Tony Yeboah’s feat of 24 goals in 47 appearances.