Bristol Rovers captain Tom Parkes wins player of the month
Bristol Rovers' Tom Parkes has picked up the player of the month award for January.
The defender won the accolade for his role in Rovers' revival during the first month of the year in the month in which he also turned 21.
Given the Captain's armband he led by example, standing up to tackles , especially in the games against Fleetwood and Rotherham, and impressing with his distribution from the back.
On receiving the award, Parkes said: “It is a privilege to have won this award, especially with the performances from all the boys in the last month. I am really happy.
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“It is the first time in my career I have won anything like this, but hopefully it is the first of many and I can keep doing well.
“Being Captain has upped my game a lot, but I have always tried my best in every game, and now I am just hoping to keep the boys going and get three points against Wycombe on Saturday.”
Chairman Nick Higgs said: “I am delighted for Tom as he thoroughly deserved this award.
“He has done a fantastic job coming in as captain, and we all believe he has a long and very bright future at the club.”
However, John Ward did not win the manager of the month award, missing out to Gillingham boss Martin Allen.
The two awards are determined by two separate expert panels.
The Manager of the Month award is decided by former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley, Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson, League Managers Association Deputy CEO Olaf Dixon and npower Partnership and Sponsorship Manager Katy Thomas.
The Player of the Month panel sees Katy Thomas joined by Wolves legend Don Goodman, BBC Sport’s Mark Clemmit and The Football League’s Head of Communications, John Nagle.
Commenting from npower, Partnership and Sponsorship Manager Katy Thomas added: “It was clearly a very happy start to the year for both winners.
"It's been another fantastic month to be a Gillingham fan as they show no signs of slowing down in the race for promotion, while Tom Parkes' defensive heroics ensured that there is still hope for Bristol Rovers at the other end of the table.”