The award, which was introduced by Barclays and the Premier League at the beginning of the season, highlights the player or manager whose actions best encapsulate the spirit of the game. It was devised in conjuction with the Premier League's 'Get on with the Game' programme.

Hodgson has led Fulham to the highest league finish in the club's history and has shown admirable qualities with his attitude towards match officials and opponents alike.

Hodgson, who was presented with the award by Sky Sports' Martin Tyler at Fulham's training ground, has led the club to top of the Fair-Play League and the conduct of his players on the pitch reflects that.

On winning the award Hodgson commented: "It is something to be proud of, for the club as well. You embody a lot of things as a manager of a club. You hope your message is getting across to the players. They are also showing on the field the sort of qualities you expect at Fulham as human beings.

"What we've tried to do is become a good team and win football matches. Along the way we've been recognised as a team that tries to do it in a correct manner."

GREAT AMBASSADOR

In honour of his achievement, Barclays will make a donation to a charity of the Fulham manager's choice.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said: "Roy Hodgson has set an example of how the game should be approached and played - he has been a great ambassador throughout the Barclays Premier League season.

"His achievements this season, coupled with the attitude that he and his players have shown towards match officials, the opposition and the fans, make him a worthy winner of the 2008/09 Barclays Spirit Award."

Hodgson was selected as the winner by representatives from Barclays, the Premier League (and with input from the PGMO) from a number of nominations.