Voting for The Footballer of the Year opens today, April 1, and all members should have received an email with details and their unique voting code.
As part of its long-term commitment to the next generation of football writers, this year the FWA is initiating a pair of exciting new awards. Named after two much missed greats of the trade, the Vikki Orvice Award and the Hugh McIlvanney Award are for the Student Football Writers of the Year and open to anyone who is currently engaged in full time education.
And the good news is, as competitions go, this one could not be simpler to enter.
We are asking for one piece of writing, of less than 800 words. It might be a match report (either of a student game or a professional encounter, watched on television), or it could be an interview, or a piece of analysis or a just personal take on your own experience, as a fan or a participant. Work does not need to have been previously published.
We have assembled a judging panel of eminent football writers and broadcasters, including Henry Winter, Alyson Rudd, Paul Hayward, Jacqui Oatley and Jonathan Liew to assess the work. And what they will be looking for are three things: originality, insight and delivery.
The prize is substantial. As well as a trophy, there will be copies of the five shortlisted titles in the FWA Football Book of the Year Award, free membership of the FWA for a year, an opportunity for work experience, plus the chance to benefit from mentoring from a member of the judging panel. There will also be a £500 prize for both award winners.
Items should be submitted by email (please cut and paste your work into the body of email, don’t send it as an attachment) to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday April 16. The winners will be announced in May.
Football is working to address its inequalities and this is equally necessary in the media. We at the FWA actively welcome submissions from people of all backgrounds, cultures, faiths and religions. These awards are primarily established to encourage and build a pathway for the next generation of football writers, who represent our society now.
Jonny Howson has been named North-East Footballer of the Year for 2020 and Durham Women forward Beth Hepple has won the Women’s Player of the Year trophy.in the North-East Football Writers’ Association annual awards.
And to complete a notable double for Middlesbrough, his team-mate Marcus Tavernier has won the North-East Young Player of the Year award for 2020.
The NEFWA’s annual awards ceremony is normally staged at Durham’s Ramside Hall in the spring, but the coronavirus pandemic means this year’s event has had to be postponed.
Rather than staging a virtual ceremony, the NEFWA is hoping to be able to arrange a live event later in the year if coronavirus restrictions are eased, but the organisation opted to stick with its usual voting timetable for its major annual honours.
Howson has been voted North-East Footballer of the Year, with his award providing a fitting recognition of his sterling efforts over the last 12 months.
The 32-year-old started 2020 playing in defence, with his efforts helping inspire the improved run of form in the second half of last season that carried Middlesbrough to safety in the Championship.
Neil Warnock’s arrival resulted in Howson moving back into his more recognised position of midfield, and the Yorkshireman has proved a revelation this season as Boro have found themselves pushing for promotion in the top half of the table.
Tavernier’s Young Player of the Year award comes after an impressive 12 months that have seen the 21-year-old establish himself as an integral part of Middlesbrough’s first team.
He was involved in all bar one of Boro’s post-lockdown matches at the end of last season as they hauled themselves to safety in the Championship, and has started 22 of the club’s 28 league games this term, scoring goals against Millwall and Wycombe.
An England international at Under-19 and Under-20 level, Newcastle-born Tavernier is pushing hard for a maiden call-up at Under-21 level.
Hepple’s Women’s Player of the Year award caps a stellar 12 months that has seen the Durham Women forward establish herself as one of the most successful female forwards in the country.
Her goals have propelled Durham into promotion contention in the Women’s Championship, with her eight league goals in the current campaign making her the third-highest scorer in the second tier of the women’s game.
“It has been a challenging year for everybody,” said Colin Young, chairman of the North-East Football Writers’ Association. “But football has continued, and we felt it was important that after more than 40 years of awarding our Player of the Year awards, we didn’t allow the coronavirus pandemic to stop us in our tracks.
“We aren’t able to stage our annual awards ceremony in its usual slot, but we’re hoping that with the support of Ramside Hall, we might be able to arrange something if conditions are different later in the year.
“For now, Jonny Howson is a fitting winner of the Player of the Year award, and with Marcus Tavernier winning the Young Player of the Year honour, it’s a double celebration for Middlesbrough, who have had a new lease of life under Neil Warnock.
“Beth Hepple is the winner of the Women’s Player of the Year award, which is further proof of the giant strides made by Durham Women in the last few years.”
The NEFWA will announce the winner of its other awards – including the John Fotheringham Award, Bob Cass Award and North-East Personality of the Year award, which is presented in conjunction with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, soon.
Jonny Howson of Middlesbrough
Beth Hepple of Durham Women FC
Marcus Tavernier of Middlesbrough
Marcus Rashford says he is honoured to become the latest Manchester United player to receive the FWA Tribute Award.
The United and England striker was honoured today for his outstanding work on and off the pitch, and says in an exclusive interview with FWA Chair Carrie Brown that he is honoured to follow in the footsteps of United legends Sir Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham in receiving our tribute award.
Sir Alex and Wayne Rooney also pay tribute to Marcus in the video clip, which you can see the interview on our YouTube channel here https://youtu.be/tVI24GAF88M
Keep coming back here and on our social media channels for more…
The Football Writers’ Association are delighted to announce that Jordan Henderson is the Footballer of the Year for 2019-20.
The Liverpool captain saw off stiff opposition from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford as well as team-mates, Virgil Van Dijk and Sadio Mane to claim the honour, the oldest individual award in the world.
Two other Liverpool players – Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson Becker – also received votes as the Premier League champions dominated the voting but it was Henderson who was a convincing winner, landing more than a quarter of the votes.
He said: “I’d like to say how appreciative I am of the support of those who voted for me and the Football Writers’ Association in general. You only have to look at the past winners of it, a number of whom I’ve been blessed to play with here at Liverpool, like Stevie (Gerrard), Luis (Suarez) and Mo (Salah) to know how prestigious it is.
“But as grateful as I am I don’t feel like I can accept this on my own. I don’t feel like anything I’ve achieved this season or in fact during my whole career has been done on my own. I owe a lot to so many different people – but none more so than my current teammates – who have just been incredible and deserve this every bit as much as I do.
“We’ve only achieved what we’ve achieved because every single member of our squad has been brilliant. And not just in matches. Not just in producing the moments that make the headlines and the back pages but every day in training.
“The players who’ve started the most games for us this season have been as good as they have been because of our culture and our environment at Melwood. No one individual is responsible for that – it’s a collective effort and that’s how I view accepting this honour.
“I accept it on behalf of this whole squad, because without them I’m not in a position to be receiving this honour. These lads have made me a better player – a better leader and a better person.
“If anything I hope those who voted for me did so partly to recognise the entire team’s contribution.
“Individual awards are nice and they are special and I will cherish this one. But an individual award without the collective achievement wouldn’t mean anywhere as much to me – if anything at all.”
FWA chair, Carrie Brown, said: “Leadership is intangible and often unquantifiable unless it is inarguable. Jordan Henderson is both the ultimate professional and now a bona fide Liverpool legend.
“Jordan is a player his team-mates look to on the pitch and who his rivals look up to off it. The voting criteria for the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year is one who leads by precept and example and in this country’s darkest moment, Jordan, unprompted, personally rallied club captains to establish #PlayersTogether.
“Millions of pounds have been raised for the NHS and significantly #PlayersTogether is now an established collective power base for players to engage in campaigns, none more so evident in the ongoing and powerful anti-racism #BlackLivesMatter campaign. He is a truly worthy winner of our award.”
Gareth Southgate, England manager, added his own tribute to Henderson: “Jordan’s the epitome of selfless commitment to the team and so it’s extra special that he is being personally recognised for the way he’s played, led his club and role modelled off the field to help wider society. I’m delighted for him and his family.”
As well as the top five of Henderson, De Bruyne, Rashford, Van Dijk and Mane, ten other players received votes from FWA members including Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Raheem Sterling, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Sergio Aguero, Adama Traore, Danny Ings, Jack Grealish, James Madison and Jonny Evans.
The Footballer of the Year trophy has been awarded since 1948 when Sir Stanley Matthews was its first recipient.
Vivianne Miedema has been named the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year.
The Arsenal striker missed out on the award by a single vote last year but this time the Dutch star has claimed the accolade by the narrowest of margins.
She was pushed all the way in the voting by Chelsea’s Bethany England and follows Lionesses forwards Nikita Parris (2019) and Fran Kirby (2018) to be named the third FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Chair of the FWA’s women’s sub-committee, Jen O’Neill, said: “This was a close-run decision because of the brilliant breakout season that Beth England had with the Lionesses and WSL champions Chelsea.
“However, Vivianne’s clinical efficiency in front of goal and her seemingly effortless poise, can mean her all-round ability and footballing intelligence are sometimes overlooked. She is a worthy winner and a world-class performer.
“With more assists than any other WSL player this season, she is also a valuable creator of openings for teammates; dropping to collect the ball and playing in others, or making space with her movement.
“Although a humble and laid-back character, she is also determined that the women’s game carries on breaking barriers, and she continues to co-author a series of children’s books to entertain and inspire young players in the Netherlands.”
The FAWSL’s Golden Boot winner for the past two seasons and leading scorer in the current UEFA Women’s Champions League competition, Miedema, maintained her stellar standards through 2019 and into 2020. She became the Netherlands’ all-time top scorer (male or female) when she netted her 60th goal at the World Cup in France last June, scoring three times for her country on their way to the final.
The Women’s Footballer of the Year is decided by a two-stage poll of a panel of experts, and although the season was suspended after the international break in March and could not be completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal-grabbing form of the FAWSL’s top scorers Miedema and England put them clearly ahead of their peers in the first phase.
Miedema then carried her slight lead over England into the second stage so that the women’s award was decided by just a single vote (12-11) for a second successive year.
Chelsea’s Norwegian creative talent Guro Reiten and Lyon’s England full-back Lucy Bronze were joint-third, just ahead of Manchester City and England’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 Bronze Boot winner Ellen White.
Other players acknowledged in the voting by the panel were Steph Houghton and Lauren Hemp (both Manchester City), Erin Cuthbert and Sophie Ingle (both Chelsea), Rachel Furness (Spurs/Liverpool), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Lauren James (Manchester United), and Chloe Kelly (Everton).
The Telegraph Sports Book of the Year awards announced their shortlists today.
In the Football Book of the Year section, selected by us at the Football Writers’ Association and sponsored by CLOC Printing, there are six outstanding books:
- David Tossell’s Natural, a revealing and comprehensive biography of one of England’s most loved footballers, Jimmy Greaves.
- Tobias Jones delves into a facet of Italian football’s subculture, examining the sinister side of fandom in Ultra.
- Daniel Fieldsend’s Locãl looks at the uniquely intertwined relationship between Liverpudlians and their city and football club.
- Jonathan Wilson’s excellently researched assessment of how Hungarian football in the 1950s shaped the modern game, The Names Heard Long Ago.
- Leo Moynihan’s The Three Kings, tracks the life and careers of three of the greatest ever managers, Stein, Shankly & Busby, undoubtedly all architects of the modern game.
- Steven Scragg pays homage to the European Cup Winners’ Cup with A Tournament Frozen In Time, charting its distinct history through the unique, eccentric stories it created.
The Telegraph Sports Autobiography of the Year shortlist features a diverse group of sports people, including world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, World Cup- winning cricket hero Ben Stokes and England’s leading all time wicket taker James Anderson, England women’s footballing-legend Eniola Aluko, the extrovert racing driver Jason Plato, as well as former Liverpool and England footballers Michael Owen and Emile Heskey.
The Children’s Sports Book of the Year shortlist includes former England women’s football captain Casey Stoney’s, Changing the Game, as well as Matt Oldfield’s Unbelievable Football, and Alex Bellos & Ben Lyttle’s popular series, Football School Season 4.
The Pinsent Masons International Autobiography category includes Manchester United and Spanish international Juan Mata’s story in Suddenly A Footballer – My Story, and German defender Per Mertesacker’s Big Friendly German.
This year’s General Outstanding Sports Writing award shortlist includes Andy Woodward sharing his harrowing story in Position of Trust, a trust shattered at the hands of convicted sex offender Barry Bennell.
The Biography shortlist includes football too, with Lofty by Matt Clough assessing the career and influence of England footballing legend Nat Lofthouse. David Tossell reveals the trials and tribulations of another England football star in Natural, his biography of Jimmy Greaves.
The Illustrated Sports Book of the Year shortlist features An A to Z of Football Collectibles by Carl Wilkes, A life Behind the Lens by Richard Pelham, and Destination Tottenham collated by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2020 winners will be digitally announced on July 15th. The online announcement will replace the traditional celebration at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2020 are grateful to our sponsors and partners, including The Telegraph, Sky Sports, BBC Sport, CLOC Printing, The Football Writers’ Association, Pinsent Masons, VAARU Cycles, The Rugby Writers and Sir Tim Rice’s The Heartaches.
The Sports Book Awards official charity partner is now the excellent National Literacy Trust, who are also collaborating with the awards to help launch the inaugural Children’s Sports Book of the Year award.
For more information about The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2020, visit
The Footballer of the Year awards have been delayed for obvious reasons, but voting is now open. Here is a letter to FWA members from our Executive Secretary Paul McCarthy:
“Firstly, I hope you are all as well as can be and coping with the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
With a nod to some kind of normality, we are preparing for the announcement of both the Footballer of the Year and the Women’s Footballer of the Year. As you know, the WFOTY is voted by an expert panel and we intend to make the announcement on Wednesday July 1 with a presentation of the trophy on a date to be confirmed. If all goes well, the FWA will film the presentation and an interview will go on all our media channels. Obviously, this depends very much on social distancing restrictions etc but we will do everything in our power to celebrate the winner properly.
The Footballer of the Year vote is now open, to coincide with the resumption of the Premier League season and will close at midnight on Thursday July 23 for an announcement at 10am the following day.
You should have all received an email with your unique voting code and instructions on how to register your vote. Can I urge anybody who has changed their email address and may not have informed us, to contact Membership Secretary, John Ley (email@example.com) before June 17 with your new details.
As always, you can also register your vote by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by text/WhatsApp on 07831 650977.
Again, we will do everything possible to celebrate the winner’s achievement and there will be an announcement closer to the time as to what form that takes.
My apologies for such a break from tradition. I look forward to receiving your votes and hopefully we will all be able to gather safely together before too long.
Paul McCarthy, Executive Secretary
The 12 titles chosen by the FWA for the longlist of the Football Book of the Year award have been revealed. The FWA books committee has chosen the 12 titles below and congratulate the authors. They will be further reduced to a shortlist for the final award, which is due to be held at Lord’s Cricket Ground in September, along with other Sports Books of the Year.
Sponsored by CLOC Printing, the Football Book of the Year is one of 10 Telegraph Sports Book Awards categories. The directors of the Telegraph Sports Book Awards have made the regrettable decision to postpone this year’s shortlist and winners events, but are pleased to announce they will take place later in the year, with a September date soon to be confirmed for the annual winners’ ceremony at Lords Cricket Ground.
Carrie Dunn’s superb deep-dive into the changing face of Women’s Football, The Pride of the Lionesses, looks beyond the headlines, reflecting on growth at grass roots level, as well as that of the professional game. Tobias Jones delves into a facet of Italian footballs subculture, examining the sinister side of footballing fandom in Ultra. Daniel Fieldsend’s Local looks at Liverpudlians uniquely intertwined relationship with both the City of Liverpool and their beloved football club.
Jonathan Wilson’s excellently researched assessment of how Hungarian football in the 1950’s shaped the modern game, The Names Heard Long Ago, is up against Michael Cox’s Zonal Marking, an insightful overview of tactical development in European football over the last three decades. Leo Moynihan’s The Three Kings tracks the life and careers of three of the greatest ever managers, Stein, Shankly & Busby, undoubtedly the central architects of the modern game. The tactical theme continues with Pep’s City, Spanish journalists Pol Ballus & Lu Martins’ behind the scenes profiling of Pep Guardiola’s success at Manchester City. David Tossell’s Natural, makes the longlist with a revealing and comprehensive biography of a past superstar, one England’s most loved footballers, Jimmy Greaves.
Steven Scragg pays homage to the European Cup Winners Cup with Frozen In Time, charting its distinct history through the unique, eccentric stories it created. Amy Raphael’s, A Game of Two Halves, pairs football’s superstars with their celebrity superfans, resulting in plenty of funny conversations and revealing some uplifting commonalities. Completing the shortlist are Stephen O’Donnell’s brutally honest account of the rise and fall of Rangers FC, Tangled Up In Blue, and John Nicolson’s Can We Have Our Football Back?, a polemic against the premier league, including a passionate pitch for an alternative future.
David Willis, Chairman of the Telegraph Sports Book Awards said: ‘We are delighted to be announcing the Football Writers’ Association Book of the Year Long List and working in partnership with CLOC Printing for the first time, and honoured to continue an excellent relationship with the highly esteemed Football Writers’ Association.’
Philippe Auclair, Chair of the Football Writers Association Books Committee, commented: “One of the most striking features of this longlist is the sheer variety of the selected titles, which shows how football writing continues broadening its horizons from year to year. In this regard, this season’s crop is probably the most diverse and the richest in the award’s history, with twelve outstanding books dealing with a huge range of interests – from biography to sociology, tactical analysis to history, polemic and politics to women’s football, to name a few. “
The winners of the 2020 Sports Book of the Year Awards will be announced at a gala awards dinner to take place at Lord’s Cricket Ground in September, with the exact date to be confirmed shortly.
Alongside CLOC Printing, The Telegraph Sports Book of the Year Awards partners include VAARU Cycles, Pinsent Masons, Sky Sports, Tim Rice’s The Heartaches & The National Literacy Trust. The final short lists for the 2020 Sports Book of the Year Awards will be announced at a reception in Pinsent Masons London Headquarters. As with the main ceremony, we have regrettably decided to postpone the original May date, and will confirm the rescheduling as soon as possible.
The Telegraph Sports Book Awards Categories 2020:
Autobiography of the Year
International Autobiography of the Year
Biography of the Year
Children’s Sports Book of the Year
Cricket Book of the Year
Football Book of the Year
Cycling Book of the Year
Illustrated Book of the Year
General Outstanding Sports Writing Award
Rugby Book of the Year
For more information about The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2020, visit http://sportsbookawards.com/
The National Committee of the Football Writers’ Association has been in continuing discussions with the game’s authorities over the impact of the coronavirus.
Given the current suspension of all fixtures and the potential threat to our members, we have taken the decision to postpone the Footballer of the Year Dinner on Thursday May 14.
The Committee considered the health and safety of our members and their guests to be paramount plus the logistical impossibility of holding an awards dinner when the season may still be far from completion.
We will seek to rearrange the event but obviously will be governed by the football calendar and so no replacement date has yet been identified.
We would like to thank The Landmark hotel and general manager, Andrew Batchelor, for their understanding. Also our title sponsors, William Hill who have been supportive of any decisions taken.
Finally, we will continue the tradition of crowning the Footballer of the Year and Women’s Footballer of the Year and will provide details of voting procedures and timings at a later date.
Manchester City’s Nikita Parris and Raheem Sterling with poses with both of their FWA Footballer of the Year awards alongside Chair of the FWA Carrie Brown during the 2019 Footballer of the Year Dinner at the Landmark Hotel, London.