Kilbane wrote in the Daily Mail: "Steve (Bruce) recognised Paul just wanted to play games, and had been wrongly written off by previous Hull managers. It is no surprise to me that Hull supporters have been voting him their player of the season.
"His reward for his patience and dedication is a new contract. He wasn't part of Sunderland's Premier League plans under Steve, but he has a massive role to play for Hull next season, and he is in his best form.
"Steve knows Paul is a born leader, who has captained his country, as well Manchester United and Ireland youth teams, and he has experience Hull will need.
"Watching him score that goal against Cardiff City last week was one of my proudest moments in football, because no one deserves it more. I just wish it had been the winner."