Wolves at the double in FWA Midlands awards

By Nick Mashiter, Press Association and FWA MIdlands branch chairman.

Nuno Espirito Santo and Raul Jimenez completed a Wolves double at the Football Writers’ Association Midlands awards.

Mexico international Jimenez won FWA Midlands Player of the Year while Wolves boss Nuno was named the Manager of the Year on Wednesday April 24.

Members voted for the pair after an impressive first season back in the Premier League for Wolves.

Wolves legend Steve Bull, the club’s record scorer and vice-president, collected the awards on behalf of the pair, who were preparing for their 3-1 win over Arsenal, at the event which was sponsored by law firm Stewarts, along with FWA official sponsor William Hill.

Jimenez, who became the club’s record buy when he turned his loan from Benfica into a permanent £32million transfer last month, has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season.

The striker has netted 12 times in the Premier League and has impressed with his work-rate and the speed with which he has adapted to English football.

Nuno has continued to build on the club’s Sky Bet Championship title win last season and victory over the Gunners put Wolves seventh. They also lost a thrilling FA Cup semi-final 3-2 after extra time to Watford earlier this month.

Wolves have set a new club record points total in the Premier League this season and could return to Europe for the first time since 1981 if they finish seventh and Manchester City beat Watford in the FA Cup final.

Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill, Burton boss Nigel Clough, West Brom interim manager Jimmy Shan and Birmingham boss Garry Monk all attended the lunch, at the Burlington Hotel in central Birmingham.

Ron Atkinson, Steve Froggatt, Kevin Phillips and Geoff Thomas were among other former managers and players in attendance.

A tribute was paid to former Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash in October. Sir Doug Ellis and FWA stalwart and ex-West Brom director Jeff Farmer were also remembered, after passing away in the last year.

A raffle for Prostate Cancer UK raised £660 in memory of former national committee member Ralph Ellis who sadly passed away last year. His widow Sue was one of our special guests.

Clubs donated signed memorabilia with the Football Association providing a signed Gareth Southgate England shirt and Leicester donating four hospitality tickets for a game next season.

It was also the first official function for Carrie Brown, our new Chairman, who was with former Chairman Paddy Barclay and Executive Secretary Paul McCarthy.  Jacqui Oatley and Nick Mashiter were also representing the National Committee in what was an undoubted success.

Thanks to Mark Radford photography for the pictures.

 

Pathway to sports journalism and broadcasting

‘The Football Writers’ Association Speakers Event 2019 – Pathway to sports journalism and broadcasting’ took place on April 9 at the Sway Bar in Central London.

Our panelists were interviewed by Snack Media after the event.

Jacqui Oatley, Sports Broadcaster for BBC & ITV

Anna Kessel, Women’s Sports Editor, The Telegraph

Natasha Henry, Freelance Sports Journalist

Vaishali Bhardwaj, Sports Reporter & Broadcaster for the Evening Standard

Alison Bender, Sports Broadcaster for ESPN, BBC & BT Sport

FWA AGM – Tuesday April 23

The Annual General Meeting of the Football Writers’ Association will be held at noon on Tuesday April 23 at The Old Bank of England, Fleet Street. 

 All National Committee members seeking re-election must attend or give a minimum 72 hours notice of apology.

All FWA members are welcome.  Please let Executive Secretary Paul McCarthy know if you wish to attend.

 

Raise Your Game – Racism in Football

Darren Lewis of the Mirror and FWA’s National Committee attended a debate on Racism in Football, organised by Kick it Out, at BBC Centre, London on March 19. Here are his thoughts…

WE KNOW the numbers.

The people who run the game, who run our media and the industry know all about the glass ceilings and scandalous representation within it.

So it was a breath of fresh air to see football being asked, at Kick It Out’s Raise Your Game event last night, what it intends to do about it.

It was refreshing to hear tough questions being put to the game’s stakeholders. 

It was an education – even now – to hear players offering different perspectives on the racial abuse they suffered over so many years. To see the light shone on grass roots football and its frustrations at being ignored as the game takes a long hard look at itself.

Football needs to face up to the harsh realities put forward in that central London meeting room last night. We can only have so many panels. We can only have so many investigations. 

We can only have so expressions of sympathy from the game without substantive action to actually change things. We in the written press need to look at ourselves and finally listen to the concerns expressed over many, many years about the representation of young black men.

The broadcast media needs to have more people of colour asking the questions, making decisions about policy, approving content. 

It is laughable that there are so few decision-makers of colour with any power in the upper echelons of the FA and the Premier League when football has had so many influential black leaders over the past five decades.

Ex-West Ham striker Carlton Cole, who spoke powerfully on the night, said: “It was a discussion that needed to had. 

“Everyone had a point. Some of the people in the room got things off their chest. Now it’s all about action.”

Women in football journalism event

We are delighted to join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day by announcing that on the 9th April, the Football Writers’ Association and Snack Media will host an event dedicated to promoting and supporting female football writers and broadcasters.

The first FWA all-women panel will be populated by some of the most recognisable names within the football media world and are also fantastic role models for all aspiring writers and broadcasters – not just for women.

We believe that football is a game of opinions, and the greater the diversity of voices we hear in the sport the better our understanding of it will be.

This event, which seeks to encourage young women who aspire to a career in football media, will take place in Sway Bar, just off Covent Garden. Tickets are FREE but must be applied for through Eventbrite as places are limited.

The Football Writers’ Association Speakers’ Event last October featured Patrick Barclay, Paul McCarthy, John Cross, Raphael Honigstein and Joel Beya. That evening 80 young journalists attended and received advice on taking their first steps in the world of football media from some of the industry’s best-known figures.

April’s event is another chance for the Football Writers’ Association to continue its pledge to promote up and coming personalities within the sports media industry and broaden the voices speaking about football for the good of the sport.

Running Order:

Doors open: 18:00
Panel Starts: 18:30
Panel Ends: 19:45

Address:

Sway Bar
61-65 Great Queen St,
WC2B 5BZ

The event is part of a joint FWA/Snack Media initiative to attract a more diverse workforce to the sports media industry and will be followed by other campaigns, initiatives and recruitment drives in the coming months.

apply for tickets here: https://bit.ly/2H9tyZV

Shearer leads North East FWA award-winners

Alan Shearer led a glittering line-up at the North East FWA’s annual awards dinner, as the former Newcastle and England captain collected the region’s Personality of the Year award, in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Shearer was one of many famous football faces at the Ramside Hall, Durham, for another great evening that was superbly organised as ever by Colin Young, secretary of the North East branch of the FWA.

Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka collected the Player of the Year award, while Sunderland’s manager Jack Ross picked up the Young Player of the Year award on behalf of the club’s former striker Josh Maja.

Beth Hepple of Durham was voted Womens’ Player of the Year, and presentations were made to Stockton Town, South Shields and Marske United in recognition of their successes in non-league football last season.

There were also special awards for two people who have worked closely with the FWA over the years. Adrian Bevington, former head of communications for Middlesbrough and England who is now Boro’s head of recruitment, was presented with the Bob Cass award for his outstanding contribution to North East football.

And Louise Wanless, who also worked at Boro before becoming head of communications at Sunderland, won the John Fotheringham Award.

Steve Harper spoke wittily about his good friend Shearer, who then gave an insight to his life as a player turned pundit, in a Q and A session with BBC’s Ian Dennis who conducted his Master of Ceremonies duties with superb professionalism.

Shearer has raised over £11m for charities since retiring, and said he gets more satisfaction from his charity work than any of his many achievements on the pitch. The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, for whom Shearer is a patron, was also represented.

Other former players included Gary Pallister, Kevin Ball, Jim Montgomerie, Craig Hignett, Martin Gray and John Hendrie. The FWA National Committee was represented by former Chairman Steve Bates, Gerry Cox and Paul McCarthy, and the evening was supported superbly by our sponsors William Hill.

“This is always a special night, bringing together the region’s football family and celebrating the best of the game,” said Colin Young, who paid special tribute to the Ramside Hall for hosting the event.

“The focus is often on the Player of the Year awards and we were proud to honour both Martin Dubravka and Beth Hepple.

“However, it’s also very important that we recognise the significant contributions made by dedicated individuals within the game and the wider community, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to do that last night.”

 

Gareth Southgate to be honoured by the FWA

We at the Football Writers’ Association are delighted to announce that the recipient of our Tribute Evening at the Savoy in January will be Gareth Southgate.
Following discussions with Gareth, his team and the FA, we have decided against our traditional event. Unlike previous Tribute dinners, this one will not focus solely on Gareth’s career but on what he has created as England manager with a new style of leadership and culture which helped the squad to a World Cup semi-final this summer.
It will also be a celebration of the squad and staff as a whole and Gareth’s determination to bring the England team closer to both the supporters and the media, something which he achieved with spectacular effect during the summer and post-World Cup.
The speakers on the evening will reflect the significant change in culture and Gareth’s determination to build on the foundations in Russia as England prepare for fresh challenges.
The dinner will take place on Sunday January 20, 2019 at The Savoy and the ticket price has been held at £96 per person thanks to the generosity of our title sponsors, William Hill.
FWA members can purchase tickets individually or in tables of either 10 or 12, and we are able to take bookings for smaller groups of FWA members. Please let Paul McCarthy, FWA Executive Secretary, know your ticket requirements by email paul@maccamedia.co.uk
We look forward to an enjoyable night, which is one of the highlights our calendar.

Photos: Press Association Images

Games of Remembrance

The FWA is pleased to support two important Games of Remembrance on Thursday November 8 in Nottingham.  Representative teams from the Armed Forces of Great Britain and Germany will play two matches to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice.

The first game, between the women’s teams, is at Notts County’s Meadow Lane kicking off at 12 noon, and then the men’s teams will play at Forest’s City Ground at 7pm.  It is aimed at families especially and ticket packages are very reasonable – for details visit https://www.gamesofremembrance.com/

Guardiola to be honoured at Northern Managers Awards dinner

Pep Guardiola will lead the list of successful managers to be honoured by the Football Writers’ Association at the 38th Northern Managers’ Awards Dinner on Sunday November 4 in Manchester.

The Manchester City manager will be rewarded for leading his side to the Premier League title at our annual gathering in Manchester, which is always a star-studded event and will again be in association with FWA sponsors William Hill.

This year’s event, at the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Peter Street, Manchester, will also honour other trophy-winning managers from the North, including Paul Cook of Wigan Athletic, Tony Mowbray of Blackburnm Rovers, Paul Warne of Rotherham United, John Coleman of Accrington Stanley, John Askey formerly of Macclesfield Town and Mickey Mellon of Tranmere Rovers.

As usual, there will be an array of stars from the world of football, and funds will be raised for a nominated children’s charity. BBC Radio’s Ian Dennis will be MC for the evening and also host the traditional quiz.

Tickets are £70 for FWA members and £75 for non-members, available by contacting FWA NW branch secretary Richard Bott on rbottmanc@aol.com Discounted rooms are available at the Radisson. Reception will start at 6.45 and dress code is lounge suit.

You can find out more details from FWA NprthWest branch chairman Andy Dunn, Paul Hetherington or Steve Bates.

More details to follow closer to the event.

Some clips here from last year’s event, when David Wagner was among the winners:

https://youtu.be/8GAa8MQSDUM

https://youtu.be/Sl1RPLvtjB0

https://youtu.be/mAnMsA8XAn8