A HOST of former winners have lavished rich praise on Jason PearceCherries’ newly-crowned supporters’ player of the year.

The 23-year-old registered a landslide victory to reclaim the prestigious Daily Echo-Micky Cave trophy following a record vote.

Pearce becomes only the third player to win the award twice, stepping into illustrious company alongside Shaun Teale and Eddie Howe.

Team captain Pearce has again starred in his pursuit of leading Cherries to back-to-back promotions for the first time in their history.

And heading into today’s final League One match of the season, he also boasts the proud – and rare – record of having played every minute of every game during another impressive campaign.

Signed by Kevin Bond on a free transfer from Portsmouth in 2007, Pearce has firmly established himself as one of the most accomplished defenders to don the Cherries shirt.

Bond, who was voted fans’ favourite at Dean Court in 1992, led the tributes to Pearce when he said: “To win this award for a second time shows how highly all the supporters regard him.

“He gives 100 per cent every time he sets foot on a football pitch. He has a never-say-die attitude and is somebody all the other players can look up to and have great respect for.

“To have played every minute of every game this season is a remarkable achievement, particularly in this day and age.

“Jason would love back-to-back promotions to get into the Championship, a step I am sure he would handle comfortably. He will want to do it with Bournemouth so we can only hope they go up and he gets an opportunity to test himself at a higher level.”

Past winners Howe, Steve Cotterill, Matt Holland, Claus Jorgensen, Wade Elliott, Warren Feeney, James Hayter, Darren Anderton and outgoing recipient Brett Pitman all sent congratulatory messages to Pearce through the Daily Echo.

Current assistant manager Steve Fletcher, who won the award in 1995, said: “Jason leads by example and is a dream to work with. He is a credit to himself, both on and off the pitch.

“He reminds me of Stuart Pearce. Whether we are having a five-a-side, doing a passing drill or playing 90 minutes on a Saturday, he will always give 100 per cent.

“He thoroughly deserves the award and I haven’t seen a centre-back as good as him for a long time.

“He is incredible for his age. He’s got the maturity of a 33-year-old, not a 23-year-old and that is invaluable.

“You can’t instil that into a player, you have either got it or you haven’t and Jason has it in abundance.”

Due to an ongoing media blackout, the Daily Echo was unable to interview Pearce. He polled 38 per cent of the vote to finish ahead of Shwan Jalal (18), Anton Robinson (13), Steve Fletcher (11) and Liam Feeney (7).