Albion fans have made Dean Hammond their Captain Marvel.

The skipper has romped away with the player of the season award, polling around half the votes.

Hammond is the first midfielder since Jeff Minton in 1997-98 to land the prize, which has been dominated in recent years by centre forwards and centre halves.

The 24-year-old from Hastings has come of age this season after taking over the armband from the departed Richard Carpenter.

He has led by example, scoring 11 goals in 47 appearances and rising to the extra responsibility of the captaincy.

Manager Dean Wilkins said: "I have always thought that Dean would become stronger with more responsibility.

"When I handed him the captaincy he grew in stature. He is an important member of the side and we have definitely missed him in recent weeks, because he is a driving force.

"He has been a threat at set plays and he has scored 11 goals for us, so you cannot under-estimate his contribution for us this season."

Hammond's campaign was cut short at the end of March when a hamstring injury hastened an operation on a double hernia, which he had been soldiering on with since before Christmas.

Of the seven matches he has missed in total Albion have lost six of them, emphasising his value to the team.

Guy Butters, the award winner in 2003-2004, won a close race for runner-up, with Dean Cox third and Alex Revell just edged out into fourth.