Tony Adams became the latest recipient of the Football Writers’ Association’s Tribute award during a star-spangled dinner at The Savoy on January 19th. Adams, the former Arsenal and England skipper, was presented with a special writing set and honoured for his contribution to English football over the past two decades.
In what was another very enjoyable evening at the Savoy, around 450 guests from the world of football and the media heard a number of speakers pay tribute to the Arsenal stalwart.
Terry Burton, now Watford’s assistant manager, was Tony’s first youth coach at Arsenal and told how he spotted the youngster’s leadership and playing qualities from an early age.
Chairman Gerry Cox praised Tony’s battle with his personal problems and introduced a video compilation of Tony’s career put together by the BBC, as well as thanking Ken Montgomery, FWA secretary, for his part in organising another first-class evening.
Tony accepted the award with grace and humility and spoke movingly about his life and times, thanking some of the assembled guests and apologising to others for some of his past behaviour.
Finally Alan Davies, the comedy actor and passionate Arsenal supporter, recounted the time he saw Tony make his debut, as well as other tales of life from the North Bank, during a highly entertaining speech.
Barclaycard, the FWA’s sponsors, were represented on the top table by Gary Hoffman, chief executive and his partner Nicola, and Sven Goran Eriksson was among the honoured guests.
The evening finished with dancing to the house band into the small hours.