Bellamy grateful for Welsh accolade

Craig Bellamy has spoken of his "great honour" at being named the Wales player of the year for 2007.

The West Ham United striker was unable to attend last night's awards ceremony at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as he was continuing his rehabilitation from a hernia problem at Chadwell Heath. The 28-year-old, who was picked ahead of Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale, also took time out yesterday to join team-mate Kieron Dyer as part of the Creating Chances initiative - the Premier League's flagship community programme.

The award, which was decided by the Welsh media, took into account Bellamy's fine international form as well as his run with former club Liverpool to May's Champions League final and his successful start to life at the Boleyn Ground. He said: "I would like to thank the media and others who voted for me, it is a great honour and I am really grateful.

"To be honest, it was a bit weird when I found out I had won. In my opinion I have had better years and not won it and feel like I have had quite an average year this time and have won it but that is the way it works sometimes." Bellamy, described by international manager John Toshack as "excellent for me and Wales", has averaged a goal every two games for West Ham United, scoring four goals in eight starts.

On Tuesday, Bellamy and Dyer were attending an 'In the know, In the game' session at the English Martyr's Roman Catholic Primary School in conjunction with the charity d:side who visit schools in London to educate children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Look out for a feature and photos later in the week on