FWA AGM on Wednesday October 14

The Annual General Meeting of the FWA will be held on Wednesday October 14 at 10am on Zoom.

All FWA members are welcome to attend, and if you wish to do so, please contact our executive secretary Paul McCarthy for log-in details on paul@maccamedia.co.uk

All members of the National Executive committee are expected to attend.  Matters to be discussed will be election of officials, financial report and matters arising. Minutes will be published following the meeting.

Football Book of the Year longlist announced

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/

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Important notice – FOTY dinner postponed

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.

Paul McCarthy

Executive Secretary

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.

“Special moment” as Steph Houghton collects FWA award

Steph Houghton said it was a “special moment” for her when she collected the FWA’s North East Personality of the Year award in Durham on Sunday evening.

The Manchester City and England captain returned to her hometown for a star-studded evening at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham, where her outstanding contribution to the region was recognised by the Football Writers’ Association.

Accompanied by her husband Stephen Darby and other family members, Steph raced hotfoot from Manchester, where she captained City in their thrilling 3-3 draw with Chelsea.

And she said it was well worth the journey as she picked up her award, with last year’s recipient Alan Shearer and many other famous faces from the world of football in the room.

Looking through the list of past winners, there are some prestigious winners and absolute legends from the North East, so to have won, and be the first female to do so too, is a special moment for me and my family,” said Steph.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation sponsor the award, and Steph added: “Unfortunately he is not with us today, but his legacy lives on through this foundation and it is great that I am able to come here with my family to support such an amazing cause, and hopefully over the next few years we can keep pushing to raise as much money as we can.”

Newcastle United provided both the North East Player and Young Player of the Year, with Fabian Schaer and Sean Longstaff collecting their awards, while Kathryn Hill of Durham and Scotland was named Women’s Player of the Year.

The Bob Cass award for his outstanding contribution to North East football went to former FIFA World Cup referee George Courtney, who reminded us that he is still officiating at youth level and available for hire!

Kevin Ball received the John Fotheringham award for his outstanding service with Sunderland, as both player and manager, and now as a club ambassador.

There were honours too for non-league sides Gateshead, Morpeth Town and Dunston, and the evening was rounded off with the unique comedy of Josh Daniels.

Funds raised on the night went to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, and the event was hosted with wit and style by Ian Dennis, Chief Football Reporter for BBC Radio Five Live.

The FWA were well represented by our Chair, Carrie Brown, Executive Secretary Paul McCarthy, former chairmen Paul Hetherington and Gerry Cox, and finally Colin Young, who once again organised the evening superbly.

Our thanks go to Claire Stephens and her staff at Ramside Hall, and to our title sponsors William Hill for their generous support.

Kevin Ball to collect award at NE FWA dinner

Former Sunderland captain Kevin Ball has joined the list of award-winners at a special football night later this month.
The North East Football Writers Association are to pay tribute to the Sunderland legend who has been player, caretaker manager and influential Academy coach for the club.
Ball, who made more than 350 appearances in nine years with the club and served twice as caretaker manager during his leading roles in the academy, will be recognised for his outstanding contribution to North East football.
The presentation of the John Fotheringham Award will be made at the North East Football Writers’ Association’s Player of the Year dinner at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham on Sunday, February 23.
During the night, North East Football Writers Association player of the year Fabian Schar, the Newcastle United defender, will pick up his award and team-mate Sean Longstaff has won the NEFWA young player of the year. Durham Women FC’s Kathryn Hill is Women’s player of the year.
England and Manchester City captain Steph Houghton has been awarded the Sir Robson Robson Foundation/NEFWA Personality of the Year Award.
Ball was signed from Portsmouth by Denis Smith in 1990, player of the season the following year and a member of the FA Cup Final side which lost to Liverpool in 1992. Captain for Sunderland’s two Premier League title-winning promotions under Peter Reid, he was named player of the year again in 1997 in the top flight season.
He left in 1999 and after spells with Fulham and Burnley, returned to the Stadium of Light under Mick McCarthy, becoming an influential figure at the Academy of Light. He was also briefly in charge as caretaker after McCarthy’s departure and the steadying ship seven years later in the wake of Paolo Di Canio’s reign before Gus Poyet’s appointment.
Now employed in an ambassadorial role by the club, Ball was instrumental in the development of academy players, including England and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and his Three Lions team-mate Jordan Pickford, who is now Everton Number One.
Tickets are still available for the dinner at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa in Durham on Sunday February 23, and further details are available from Claire Stephen on 0191 375 3080/ claire.stephen@ramsidehallhotel.co.uk.

CHANGE OF DATE – NE FWA awards now Sunday Feb 23

Please note that the FWA’s North-East awards night has been put back to Sunday February 23rd at the Ramside Hall in Durham.

Originally scheduled for Feb 2, it has been put back to allow for the attendance of our winners.

More details of the event can be found here: http://footballwriters.co.uk/editorial/schar-longstaff-and-hill-win-north-east-fwa-awards/

For details of tickets, at £58 including a three-course meal, contact Colin Young of the FWA or Claire Stephensat the Ramside Hall hotel on 0191 375 3080 or claire.stephen@ramsidehallhotel.co.uk

Steph Houghton is NE FWA Personality of the Year

Steph Houghton will receive the North East Football Writers’ Association’s Personality of the Year trophy, which is given in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to recognise someone who uses their position in football to benefit the wider community.

The 31-year-old Manchester City captain, described by The Football Association as, “a role model in every sense,” will receive recognition for her off-the-field activities, which include official roles with the Professional Players Association, UEFA, The James Milner Foundation and the NSPCC.

She will also be recognised for campaigning to end period poverty and for her great commitment to The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, a charity launched after her husband, Stephen Darby, was diagnosed with the disease in 2018.

Steph, who is from Durham, will be following in the footsteps of Alan Shearer, who received the North East Personality of the Year trophy last year.

It will be presented at the North East Football Writers’ Association Awards, sponsored by William Hill, which are held annually at Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham to celebrate the best of North East football. The event will, once again, raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.  PLEASE NOTE  CHANGE OF DATE TO SUNDAY FEBRUARY 23rd

Lady Elsie Robson said: “This is the sixth year we’ve helped the Football Writers’ Association choose a recipient for this award and Steph is the first woman to receive it. That seems very fitting given as she’s been such a pioneer in the women’s game.

“Steph has worked extremely hard to achieve her success and she’s also done so much to help others in that time. She’s a very worthy winner of this special award.”

In addition to the presentation to Steph, the North East Football Writers’ Association will be taking the opportunity at the awards night to pay tribute to the seven Lionesses who are from this region.

The chair of the Football Writers’ Association nationally, Carrie Brown, says: “In the week the Football Writers’ Association pays tribute to Vincent Kompany, it’s fitting we announce Steph Houghton as the winner of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Personality of the Year.

“The England and Manchester City captain can stand shoulder to shoulder with Kompany after leading club and country to unprecedented success in, arguably, the most important and influential decade in the history of the women’s game.

“Off the field, Steph has been an impeccable ambassador for the sport and the sport, in turn, has come out in support for Steph and her husband, former Liverpool player Stephen Darby.

“Stephen was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year and, with his close friend Chris Rimmer, has set-up the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation in hope of finding a cure for the disease.

“I am delighted the North East branch of the FWA has recognised Steph, and all seven players from the region who represented the Lionesses in France last summer.

“Congratulations also to Scottish international Kathryn Hill, whose imperious form in defence for Durham Women has won her the Women’s Player of the Year Award.

“The FWA looks forward to hosting what promises to be a wonderful night of celebration for the men’s and women’s game.”

Appointed England captain in 2014, Steph has appeared at two World Cups and two European Championships, as well as starring for Team GB at London 2012. She is the most recent player to earn a century of England caps.

At club level, her career began with Sunderland Ladies, before joining Leeds United Ladies, where she won an FA Women’s Cup medal, and then winning numerous honours with Arsenal.

Steph moved to Manchester City six years ago and has been instrumental in helping the club become one of the powerhouses of the women’s game, guiding her team to trophies in all three domestic competitions.

Other recipients of North East Football Writers’ Association awards this year include Men’s Player of the Year, Fabian Schar (Newcastle United), Young Player of the Year, Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) and Womens’ Player of the Year, Kathryn Hill (Durham Women FC).

The previous winners of the North East Personality of the Year trophy, in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, are:

• Alan Shearer
• Jermain Defoe
• Steve Harper
• Robbie Elliott
• Niall Quinn

Tickets for the North East Football Writers’ Association Awards are available from Claire Stephen at Ramside Hall Hotel (0191 375 3080 or claire.stephen@ramsidehallhotel.co.uk

Vincent Kompany honoured on Gala Tribute Evening

Vincent Kompany said he was honoured and humbled to be the recipient of the FWA’s Tribute Award at The Savoy on Sunday January 12.

The former Manchester City and Belgium captain was our special guest at a star-studded event, and spoke eloquently about his career, his family and charity work. Accompanied by his father Pierre, he was joined on the top table by Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester, with whom Vincent has set up Tackle4MCR, a charity that helps the homeless and rough sleepers in the city.

Andy Burnham spoke in glowing terms about Vincent and his charity work, before FWA Chair Carrie Brown joined in with the praise, and handed over Vincent’s award.  He thanked the FWA, not only for his award but for our help in highlighting racism in football, and he called for more diversity in the game at all levels.

Vincent received a standing ovation, and spent hours afterwards mingling with guests.  Our thanks to Vincent and his colleagues for making it another special occasion, and thanks also to our sponsors William Hill for helping us stage the event.

There was sadness, too, as we remembered absent friends, and Paul McCarthy our executive secretary announced that the evening was dedicated to Steve Curry, our great friend, colleague and Life Member, who passed away in 2019. Steve’s widow Carol and son Mike were in attendance.

You can see our interview with Vincent here: https://youtu.be/KXtnW0T8r6o

Thanks to Steve Paston of PA images for photography

Change of date – Vincent Kompany Tribute night now Sunday January 12

CHANGE OF DATE FOR TRIBUTE NIGHT – NOW JAN 12, 2020

Please note that the FWA Tribute Night for Vincent Kompany has a change of date, brought forward from Jan19 to SUNDAY JANUARY 12. This is because Belgian TV requirements have led to a re-scheduling of Anderlecht’s game on the 19th.

All other details remain exactly the same and those who have booked tickets and tables at our annual Savoy event will be receiving tickets and passes within the next 10 days.

As a matter of urgency, can you please let Paul McCarthy, FWA Executive Secretary, know if you are NOT able to take your allocated table or tickets.

Our sincere apologies for the change but it was completely out of our control.

The FWA’s National Committee chose to honour Kompany not just for his outstanding contribution to English football, having won every domestic trophy (four PL titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups) but also for his charity work, not least via Tackle4MCR, a co-operation with the Mayor of Manchester’s office to tackle homelessness in the city.  He also studied for and gained an MBA when he was in Manchester, and is a FIFA ambassador for the SOS Children charity.

Kompany wlll travel to London on January 12 to collect his award in what is sure to be a star-studded event and memorable night.

You can see a list of previous winners of the FWA Tribute Award here: http://footballwriters.co.uk/previous-tribute/

Klopp and Guardiola in sparkling form at FWA awards

PEP GUARDIOLA AND JURGEN KLOPP were in sparkling form at the Football Writers’ Association Northern Managers awards night, in Manchester on Sunday November 24.

Klopp was honoured for leading Liverpool to victory over Tottenham in the Champions League final on June 1, and he attended the dinner with the trophy standing proudly by the top table.

Guardiola was honoured for leading Manchester City to a domestic treble of Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. All three trophies were on display at the Radisson Hotel, along with the FA Womens Cup and Continental Trophy, won by Manchester City Women. Their manager Nick Cushing, was also honoured with an award at the event.

Other managers to be honoured included Chris Wilder for leading Sheffield United to promotion from the Championship, Daniel Stendel of Barnsley, Ryan Lowe of Bury, Tranmere’s Micky Mellon, Graham Alexander of Salford City, AFC Fylde’s Dave Challinor and Barry Lewtas from Liverpool Under 18s.

Klopp and Guardiola both gave charming and witty speeches, admitting to being envious of each other’s trophies and stating their ambitions to win more.

Ian Dennis, a recent recruit to the FWA, was master of ceremonies for the evening, and a substantial sum was raised for the nominated charity of the FWA’s Northern Branch,the Forget Me Not children’s hospice in Huddersfield.

The event was attended by FWA Chair Carrie Brown, Executive Secretary Paul McCarthy and several members of the national committee. Our thanks to the organisers Richard Bott, Steve Bates, Paul Hetherington and Andy Dunn, as well as the staff of the Radisson and our generous sponsors William Hill.

You can see a video from the evening here: https://youtu.be/2O1u2QYSlos