Football Writers' Association

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The Football Writers' Association (the FWA) is an association of football journalists and correspondents writing for English newspapers and agencies. It presents the Footballer of the Year Award, the oldest and most distinguished award given in the domestic game. In 2018, recognising the growth of the woman's game, it announced a Woman's Footballer of the Year Award.


The choice to create the Football Writers' Association (FWA) was made on 22 September 1947 by journalists, Charles Buchan (News Chronicle), Frank Coles (Daily Telegraph), Roy Peskett (Daily Mail), and Archie Quick while aboard a boat in the middle of the English Channel that was returning from a football match in which England beat Belgium 5-2. Ivan Sharpe of the Sunday Chronicle was appointed chairman a month later, a position he held for the first six years of the FWA's existence and eight times in all in his long career. The men formalized a few of the newborn association's rules and regulations within one month. Some of the rules initially created were that membership to the FWA would be invitation only and that they would exclusively send invitations to “working journalists who are accredited football correspondents for newspapers and agencies.” It was also determined that the Football Writers' Association's headquarters would be in London, England and the membership fee would be five guineas for the first year of membership with a recurring annual payment of two guineas each year after. Furthermore, the men had decided that there would be a vote held annually for all members that would decide the recipient of the prestigious Footballer of the Year Award, which is still today the oldest and most distinguished award given in the domestic game. The award was originally presented at the annual dinner, which was held on the night before the FA Cup Final, but was later changed to the Thursday preceding every FA Cup Final. To mark the FWA's 70th anniversary newly created Life Members of the association will now receive the Ivan Sharpe Life Membership Award, while in 2018, the FWA announced it was awarding a Woman's Footballer of the Year award in recognition of the growth of the woman's game in this country. ed [1]

The Football Writers' Association Today[edit]

The FWA has experienced steady growth since its inception in 1947. Membership has grown to about four-hundred members. Changes in modern journalism have welcomed a more diverse range of members. In recent years, the association has modernized itself by changing the voting process for Footballer of the Year by making online voting available to its members as well as incorporating social media into its revamped web site. The Football Writers' Association continues to recruit new members openly in the same manner as was created by its founders in 1947.[1]

The FWA Footballer of the Year Award[edit]

Charles Buchan, one of the founding fathers of the FWA, had originally suggested that there be an award presented “to the professional player who by precept and example is considered by a ballot of members to be the footballer of the year." The award is the oldest and is considered to be the most prestigious award in British football. The award is presented annually. The first player to receive the award was Sir Stanley Matthews in 1948.[2]. In 2018 the FWA introduced their award for the Woman Footballer of the Year in recognition of the growth of the woman's game.


The award has been presented on 70 occasions as of 2017, with 62 different winners. On one occasion two players shared the award for a season (1968–69).[3] The table also indicates where the winning player also won one or more of the other major "player of the year" awards in English football, namely the Professional Footballers' Association's Players' Player of the Year award (PPY),[4][5][6] Fans' Player of the Year award (FPY),[7] and Young Player of the Year award (YPY).[5][6][8]

Neville Southall's 1985 win was the last time a goalkeeper received the award.
Dennis Bergkamp won the award in the 1997–98 season.
Thierry Henry was the first player to win the award in two consecutive seasons.
Cristiano Ronaldo also won the award consecutively, in the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons.
Wayne Rooney gained the award in the 2009–10 season.
Year Player Club Also won Notes
1947–48 England Stanley Matthews Blackpool
1948–49 Republic of Ireland Carey, JohnnyJohnny Carey Manchester United [9]
1949–50 England Mercer, JoeJoe Mercer Arsenal
1950–51 England Johnston, HarryHarry Johnston Blackpool
1951–52 England Wright, BillyBilly Wright Wolverhampton Wanderers
1952–53 England Lofthouse, NatNat Lofthouse Bolton Wanderers
1953–54 England Finney, TomTom Finney Preston North End
1954–55 England Revie, DonDon Revie Manchester City
1955–56 Germany Trautmann, BertBert Trautmann Manchester City
1956–57 England Finney, TomTom Finney Preston North End [10]
1957–58 Northern Ireland Blanchflower, DannyDanny Blanchflower Tottenham Hotspur
1958–59 England Owen, SydSyd Owen Luton Town
1959–60 England Slater, BillBill Slater Wolverhampton Wanderers
1960–61 Northern Ireland Blanchflower, DannyDanny Blanchflower Tottenham Hotspur
1961–62 England Adamson, JimmyJimmy Adamson Burnley
1962–63 England Matthews, StanleyStanley Matthews Stoke City [11]
1963–64 England Moore, BobbyBobby Moore West Ham United
1964–65 Scotland Collins, BobbyBobby Collins Leeds United
1965–66 England Charlton, BobbyBobby Charlton Manchester United
1966–67 England Charlton, JackJack Charlton Leeds United
1967–68 Northern Ireland Best, GeorgeGeorge Best Manchester United
1968–69 England Book, TonyTony Book (joint winner) Manchester City
Scotland Dave MackayDave Mackay (joint winner) Derby County
1969–70 Scotland Bremner, BillyBilly Bremner Leeds United
1970–71 Scotland McLintock, FrankFrank McLintock Arsenal
1971–72 England Banks, GordonGordon Banks Stoke City
1972–73 Northern Ireland Jennings, PatPat Jennings Tottenham Hotspur [12]
1973–74 England Callaghan, IanIan Callaghan Liverpool
1974–75 England Mullery, AlanAlan Mullery Fulham
1975–76 England Keegan, KevinKevin Keegan Liverpool
1976–77 England Hughes, EmlynEmlyn Hughes Liverpool
1977–78 Scotland Burns, KennyKenny Burns Nottingham Forest
1978–79 Scotland Dalglish, KennyKenny Dalglish Liverpool
1979–80 England McDermott, TerryTerry McDermott Liverpool PPY [13]
1980–81 Netherlands Thijssen, FransFrans Thijssen Ipswich Town
1981–82 England Perryman, SteveSteve Perryman Tottenham Hotspur
1982–83 Scotland Dalglish, KennyKenny Dalglish Liverpool PPY
1983–84 Wales Rush, IanIan Rush Liverpool PPY
1984–85 Wales Southall, NevilleNeville Southall Everton
1985–86 England Lineker, GaryGary Lineker Everton PPY
1986–87 England Allen, CliveClive Allen Tottenham Hotspur PPY
1987–88 England Barnes, JohnJohn Barnes Liverpool PPY
1988–89 Scotland Nicol, SteveSteve Nicol Liverpool
1989–90 England Barnes, JohnJohn Barnes Liverpool
1990–91 Scotland Strachan, GordonGordon Strachan Leeds United
1991–92 England Lineker, GaryGary Lineker Tottenham Hotspur
1992–93 England Waddle, ChrisChris Waddle Sheffield Wednesday
1993–94 England Shearer, AlanAlan Shearer Blackburn Rovers
1994–95 Germany Klinsmann, JürgenJürgen Klinsmann Tottenham Hotspur
1995–96 France Cantona, EricEric Cantona Manchester United
1996–97 Italy Zola, GianfrancoGianfranco Zola Chelsea
1997–98 Netherlands Bergkamp, DennisDennis Bergkamp Arsenal PPY
1998–99 France Ginola, DavidDavid Ginola Tottenham Hotspur PPY
1999–00 Republic of Ireland Keane, RoyRoy Keane Manchester United PPY
2000–01 England Sheringham, TeddyTeddy Sheringham Manchester United PPY
2001–02 France Pirès, RobertRobert Pirès Arsenal
2002–03 France Henry, ThierryThierry Henry Arsenal PPY, FPY
2003–04 France Henry, ThierryThierry Henry Arsenal PPY, FPY [14]
2004–05 England Lampard, FrankFrank Lampard Chelsea FPY [15]
2005–06 France Henry, ThierryThierry Henry Arsenal [16]
2006–07 Portugal Ronaldo, CristianoCristiano Ronaldo Manchester United PPY, FPY, YPY [17]
2007–08 Portugal Ronaldo, CristianoCristiano Ronaldo Manchester United PPY, FPY
2008–09 England Gerrard, StevenSteven Gerrard Liverpool FPY [18]
2009–10 England Rooney, WayneWayne Rooney Manchester United PPY [19]
2010–11 England Scott ParkerScott Parker West Ham United [20]
2011–12 Netherlands van Persie, RobinRobin van Persie Arsenal PPY, FPY [21]
2012–13 Wales Bale, GarethGareth Bale Tottenham Hotspur PPY, YPY [22]
2013–14 Uruguay Suárez, LuisLuis Suárez Liverpool PPY [23]
2014–15 Belgium Hazard, EdenEden Hazard Chelsea PPY [24]
2015–16 England Vardy, JamieJamie Vardy Leicester City [25]
2016–17 France Kanté, N'GoloN'Golo Kanté Chelsea PPY [26]

The FWA Tribute Award[edit]

The Football Writers' Association Tribute Award is presented annually every January at the Savoy Hotel to the individual that the committee believes to have contributed to the national game in a significant way. The award was first given in 1983 to Ron Greenwood.[2]



Year Winner(s)
1983 England Ron Greenwood
1984 England Bob Paisley
1985 England Sir Trevor Brooking
1986 Northern Ireland Pat Jennings
1987 Scotland Kenny Dalglish
1988 England Sir Tom Finney
1989 England Sir Bobby Charlton


Year Winner(s)
1990 England Bobby Moore
1991 England Peter Shilton
1992 England Sir Bobby Robson
1993 England Brian Clough
1994 Scotland Denis Law
1995 England Sir Stanley Matthews
1996 Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson
1997 England Gary Lineker
1998 England Sir Geoff Hurst
1999 England Jim Smith


Year Winner(s)
2000 Northern Ireland George Best
2001 England Alan Shearer
2002 England Graham Taylor
2003 England Tony Adams
2004 England Jimmy Hill
2005 France Arsène Wenger
2006 England Bryan Robson
2007 Wales Ryan Giggs
2008 England David Beckham
2009 England Harry Redknapp


Year Winner(s)
2010 England Frank Lampard
2011 France Thierry Henry
2012 England Gary Neville / England Paul Scholes
2013 England Steven Gerrard
2014 Portugal José Mourinho
2015 Ivory Coast Didier Drogba
2016 France Patrick Vieira
2017 England Wayne Rooney

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "England – Players Awards". RSSSF. 4 October 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2008. 
  4. ^ "Only here for the peers". BBC. 20 April 2001. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Gerrard named player of the year". BBC. 23 April 2006. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Ronaldo secures PFA awards double". BBC. 22 April 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  7. ^ "PFA's Official Fan's Player of the Year: Previous Winners". The Professional Footballers' Association. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  8. ^ Frank Keogh (20 April 2001). "Too much too young?". BBC. Retrieved 17 March 2008. 
  9. ^ First winner of the award from outside the United Kingdom.
  10. ^ First player to win the award twice.
  11. ^ First player to win the award with two different clubs.
  12. ^ Also won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award in 1976 to become the first player to win both awards.
  13. ^ First player to win both PFA and FWA awards in the same season.
  14. ^ First player to win the award in two consecutive seasons.
  15. ^ "Lampard scoops award from writers". BBC. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  16. ^ First player to win the award three times.
  17. ^ First player to win four awards in the same season.
  18. ^ "Steven Gerrard wins Footballer of the Year award". The Times. London. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  19. ^ "Wayne Rooney nets writers' player of the year award". BBC. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  20. ^ "West Ham's Scott Parker wins Football Writers' award". BBC. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  21. ^ "Arsenal's Robin van Persie named FWA Footballer of the Year". BBC. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "Bale named FWA Footballer of the Year". Football Writers’ Association. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Suarez humbled by FWA accolade". Football Writers’ Association. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard is the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year 2015". Football Writers’ Association. 12 May 2015. Archived from the original on 15 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "Jamie Vardy voted FWA Footballer of the Year 2016". Football Writers’ Association. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 15 Jan 2017. 
  26. ^ "N'Golo Kante is Footballer of the Year". Football Writers’ Association. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 11 Jun 2017. 

External links[edit]