Wales left-back Neil Taylor honoured at Asian Football Awards

By Mandeep SangheraBBC Sport
Neil Taylor (third from left) celebrates Euro 2016 qualification along with Wales team-mates, including Gareth Bale (left) and Aaron Ramsey (right)
Neil Taylor (third from left) celebrates Euro 2016 qualification along with Wales team-mates, including Gareth Bale (left) and Aaron Ramsey (right)

Wales and Swansea defender Neil Taylor has been named player of the year at the Asian Football Awards at Wembley.

The awards,external-link being held for the third time, recognise the achievements of British Asians in English football.

Welsh-born Taylor, 26, who has an English father and Indian mother, helped his country reach Euro 2016.

Aston Villa's 17-year-old defender Easah Suliman, who is of Pakistani heritage and captained England Under-17s, won the young player award.

Swansea tweet

Kidderminster Harriers striker Gurjit Singh, 24, is of Indian heritage and won the non-league player gong.

The Asian Football Awards have previously taken place in 2012 and 2013 and will now aim to become a biennial event.

The organiser of the awards, Baljit Rihal, also hopes to raise awareness at the lack of professional players predominantly from a south Asian background.

In the 2011 census, those from an Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin made up 5.3% of a 56,075,912 population in England and Wales.external-link

However, there are only seven players in England's top four divisions with a professional contract.

Taylor is the most high profile, while Wolves centre-back Danny Batth and Mansfield left-back Malvind Benning are the only others from the group who play regular first-team football.

Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics figures from the 2011 census