CRAIG Williams was crowned Football Association of Wales (FAW) clubman of the year for 2017 this week.

The Newtown captain was recognised for his service to his hometown club which has included more than 350 first team appearances over a decade.

The stars of Welsh football, including Gareth Bale and the rest of the national team heroes from last season’s European Championships semi-finalists, were out in force for the Vauxhall sponsored event at Hensol Castle.

While Bale, Chris Gunter, Joe Allen and Ben Woodburn won the national team awards, Williams was recognised as a giant of the domestic game.

The 29 year old said: “I’m really proud. It came a little bit out of the blue and I didn’t expect it, I didn’t know a lot about it but after seeing who has won it before it was nice to receive.”

Williams has played a key role in the Robins resurgence since returning to the club in 2012 following a two year spell at Mid Wales rivals Aberystwyth Town, helping the club to the Welsh Cup final and European qualification.

JD Welsh Premier secretary Gwyn Derfel paid tribute to Williams for his contribution to the league.

Derfel said: “There’s no doubt that Craig Williams is a very worthy winner of the JD Welsh Premier League Clubman of the Year award this year.

“He has featured in our national league for 13 consecutive seasons, 11 of them for his beloved Newtown.

“Craig is an ambassador for the club and the league and is a true local hero who continues to make a valuable contribution both on and off the pitch for the Robins and the JD Welsh Premier.