The very first Willy van der Kuijlen trophy has been awarded to Eredivisie top scorer Georgios Giakoumakis. The VVV-Venlo striker received the award from the widow and son of Eredivisie legend Van der Kuijlen, who died earlier this year.
The 26-years-old striker is proud to be the first winner of the trophy: "This is very beautiful and I am enormously proud to be the first winner of the trophy. It means a lot to me and I really want to win this prize again," said Giakoumakis. Nelly, the widow of Willy, and son Mark van der Kuijlen are also impressed. "It's a very nice trophy. We hope that we can award it to the top scorer every year. This is great."
The Greek had his sights set on the past Eredivisie season. In thirty duels, the striker scored 26 goals, a rate of one goal every 99 minutes. Giakoumakis scored 18 times with the right, 4 times with the left and 4 times with the head. His goals, however, could not prevent VVV-Venlo from being relegated.
A fitting tribute
The Eredivisie CV decided earlier this year after the death of all-time Eredivisie top scorer Willy van der Kuijlen to name an official award after the PSV icon. From now on, the top scorer from the Eredivisie season will receive the Willy van der Kuijlen trophy, a replica of the official Skiete Willy statue in Eindhoven. This statue was unveiled by PSV in 2004 at the east side of the Philips Stadium.
Willy van der Kuijlen was born on 6 December 1946 in Helmond and started his football career with the local HVV. At the age of 17, Van der Kuijlen made the switch to PSV and played 528 Eredivisie matches in 18 seasons. With three national titles, a UEFA Cup and two KNVB Cups in his pocket, Van der Kuijlen finished another season at MVV and in Belgium at Overpelt.
Many a goal net fell when a fireball from Van der Kuijlen’s feet touched it. With both left and right, he produced regular powershots, giving rise to the nickname Skiete Willy. The striker was PSV’s top scorer thirteen times and in the Eredivisie three times. He shot a total of 311 times and is still the Eredivisie’s all-time leading scorer. On 19 April 2021, Van der Kuijlen, also known as Mister PSV, passed away at the age of 74.