Emma Hayes OBE receives FWA Tribute award

Chelsea FC Women’s manager recognised for her outstanding contribution to English football

Emma Hayes says she was “unbelievably honoured” to become the 42nd recipient of the Football Writers’ Association’s Tribute award.

The Chelsea manager was honoured at the FWA’s annual Tribute Gala dinner at the Landmark Hotel London on Sunday January 21st, shortly after her side beat Manchester United 3-1.

Hayes, who will leave Chelsea at the end of the season in order to take over as head coach of the United States National Women’s Team, has been the most successful coach in English women’s football over the past decade.

Since taking over at Chelsea in 2012, she has led them to six WSL titles, six Women’s FA Cups and the Women’s League Cup twice. She was named FIFA’s Women’s Coach of the Year in 2022, and awarded the Order of the British Empire in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list.

Previously she had coached Arsenal when they won the UEFA Women’s Cup, forerunner of the Women’s Champions League, in 2007.

Previous winners of the FWA Tribute award include Sir Stanley Matthews, Pep Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson. Others to pay tribute included Vic Akers, whom she assisted when he was Arsenal Women’s manager, Carly Telford and Fran Kirby, the Chelsea striker who has won the FWA’s Women’s Footballer of the Year award twice.

FWA Chair John Cross said: “Emma Hayes’ achievements demand more respect because of what she has done for the women’s game overall. She has completely transformed the landscape not just for Chelsea, the WSL, the England national team, but for football in general.”

She added: “It is an unbelievable honour.
“I was speaking to players about it being honoured by the Football Writers Association.
“We know we all work as part of industry, which on my end is delivering results on the pitch, but for everyone else delivering those results off the pitch.
“I have always viewed those relationships as interwoven and necessary for each other.
To be here down the road from where I grew up at a hotel I used to come to with my dad, it is a great honour.”

Emma Hayes delivered an entertaining and emotional speech after accepting her award from John Cross

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