'Blame me' - Walker tells United fans

ROY Walker has told Ballymena United fans to blame him for the club's disappointing league position this season.

Although relegation was never a realistic danger, United could still finish as low as 11th in the 12-team Carling Premiership.

Speaking at the Seven Towers Supporters' Club's end-of-season awards presentation in the Social Club, Walker said that reaching two semi-finals this season could not paper over the poor results in the league championship.

"I want to apologise for our league position – I take full responsibility for that.

"We have to be brutal and ruthless enough to make the changes that are necessary in the summer.

"If we don't hit the ground running next season and do what you (supporters) deserve, my head is firmly on the block," added Roy.

United chairman Robert Cupples reiterated his backing for the manager, insisting: "I have every belief in the management structure of the club with Roy and his staff and they will do everything in their power to bring success to the club."

Michael Smith, one of the few successes of the current campaign, won the Seven Towers' Player of the Year award.

Defender Dermot McVeigh collected the Reserve Team award while Ross Nelson, who had made his first team debut as a sub earlier in the afternoon, collected the youth team accolade.

Kevin Kelbie won the Leading Goalscorer award for the fourth time in his five years at the club.

As well as the Seven Towers awards, Michael Smith also collected two more pieces of silverware – the Sky Blue TV Goal of the Season award for his thunderbolt at Glenavon in the 3-3 Irish Cup draw – and the Ballymena Times-sponsored Players' Player of the Year in which he polled 13 of the 16 votes.

Not since Glenn Hunter's goals almost single-handedly saved United from relegation in 1999 has there been such a clear winning margin in the long-running award.

See more photos from the Seven Towers SC function in this week's Ballymena Times - on sale now.