The Football Writers' Association (FWA) is an association of football journalists and correspondents writing for English newspapers and agencies. It presents the Footballer of the Year Award, the oldest and most distinguished award given in the domestic game. In 2018, recognising the growth of the woman's game, it announced a Woman's Footballer of the Year Award.
The choice to create the Football Writers' Association (FWA) was made on 22 September 1947 by journalists, Charles Buchan (News Chronicle), Frank Coles (Daily Telegraph), Roy Peskett (Daily Mail), and Archie Quick while aboard a boat in the middle of the English Channel that was returning from a football match in which England beat Belgium 5–2. Ivan Sharpe of the Sunday Chronicle was appointed chairman a month later, a position he held for the first six years of the FWA's existence and eight times in all in his long career. The men formalized a few of the newborn association's rules and regulations within one month. Some of the rules initially created were that membership to the FWA would be invitation only and that they would exclusively send invitations to "working journalists who are accredited football correspondents for newspapers and agencies". It was also determined that the Football Writers' Association's headquarters would be in London, England and the membership fee would be five guineas for the first year of membership with a recurring annual payment of two guineas each year after. Furthermore, the men had decided that there would be a vote held annually for all members that would decide the recipient of the prestigious Footballer of the Year Award, which is still today the oldest and most distinguished award given in the domestic game. The award was originally presented at the annual dinner, which was held on the night before the FA Cup Final, but was later changed to the Thursday preceding every FA Cup Final. To mark the FWA's 70th anniversary newly created Life Members of the association will now receive the Ivan Sharpe Life Membership Award, while in 2018, the FWA announced it was awarding a Woman's Footballer of the Year award in recognition of the growth of the woman's game in this country. ed
The FWA has experienced steady growth since its inception in 1947. Membership has grown to about four-hundred members. Changes in modern journalism have welcomed a more diverse range of members. In recent years, the association has modernized itself by changing the voting process for Footballer of the Year by making online voting available to its members as well as incorporating social media into its revamped web site. The Football Writers' Association continues to recruit new members openly in the same manner as was created by its founders in 1947.On 24 April 2019, beIN Sports senior sports correspondent Carrie Brown was announced as the first female chair of the FWA.
Charles Buchan, one of the founding fathers of the FWA, had originally suggested that there be an award presented "to the professional player who by precept and example is considered by a ballot of members to be the footballer of the year." The award is the oldest and is considered to be the most prestigious award in British football. The award is presented annually. The first player to receive the award was Sir Stanley Matthews in 1948.In 2018 the FWA introduced their award for the Woman Footballer of the Year in recognition of the growth of the woman's game.
The award has been presented on 71 occasions as of 2018, with 63 different winners. On one occasion two players shared the award for a season (1968–69).The table also indicates where the winning player also won one or more of the other major "player of the year" awards in English football, namely the Professional Footballers' Association's Players' Player of the Year award (PPY), Fans' Player of the Year award (FPY), and Young Player of the Year award (YPY).
|1948–49||Johnny Carey||Manchester United|
|1951–52||Billy Wright||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|1952–53||Nat Lofthouse||Bolton Wanderers|
|1953–54||Tom Finney||Preston North End|
|1954–55||Don Revie||Manchester City|
|1955–56||Bert Trautmann||Manchester City|
|1956–57||Tom Finney||Preston North End|
|1957–58||Danny Blanchflower||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1958–59||Syd Owen||Luton Town|
|1959–60||Bill Slater||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|1960–61||Danny Blanchflower||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1962–63||Stanley Matthews||Stoke City|
|1963–64||Bobby Moore||West Ham United|
|1964–65||Bobby Collins||Leeds United|
|1965–66||Bobby Charlton||Manchester United|
|1966–67||Jack Charlton||Leeds United|
|1967–68||George Best||Manchester United|
|1968–69||Tony Book (joint winner)||Manchester City|
|Dave Mackay (joint winner)||Derby County|
|1969–70||Billy Bremner||Leeds United|
|1971–72||Gordon Banks||Stoke City|
|1972–73||Pat Jennings||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1977–78||Kenny Burns||Nottingham Forest|
|1980–81||Frans Thijssen||Ipswich Town|
|1981–82||Steve Perryman||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1986–87||Clive Allen||Tottenham Hotspur||PPY|
|1990–91||Gordon Strachan||Leeds United|
|1991–92||Gary Lineker||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1992–93||Chris Waddle||Sheffield Wednesday|
|1993–94||Alan Shearer||Blackburn Rovers|
|1994–95||Jürgen Klinsmann||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1995–96||Eric Cantona||Manchester United|
|1998–99||David Ginola||Tottenham Hotspur||PPY|
|1999–00||Roy Keane||Manchester United||PPY|
|2000–01||Teddy Sheringham||Manchester United||PPY|
|2002–03||Thierry Henry||Arsenal||PPY, FPY|
|2003–04||Thierry Henry||Arsenal||PPY, FPY|
|2006–07||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||PPY, FPY, YPY|
|2007–08||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||PPY, FPY|
|2009–10||Wayne Rooney||Manchester United||PPY|
|2010–11||Scott Parker||West Ham United|
|2011–12||Robin van Persie||Arsenal||PPY, FPY|
|2012–13||Gareth Bale||Tottenham Hotspur||PPY, YPY|
|2015–16||Jamie Vardy||Leicester City|
|2018–19||Raheem Sterling||Manchester City|
|2020–21||Rúben Dias||Manchester City|
In 2018, the FWA introduced their award for the Woman Footballer of the Year in recognition of the growth of the women's game.
The award has been presented on one occasion as of 2018, with one winner. The table also indicates where the winning player also won one or more of the other major "player of the year" awards in English football, namely the PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year award (PPY),and the PFA Women's Young Player of the Year award (YPY).
|2017–18||Fran Kirby||Chelsea||PPY||Inaugural winner of award|
|2018–19||Nikita Parris||Manchester City|
|2019–20||Vivianne Miedema||Arsenal||First non-English winner|
|2020–21||Fran Kirby||Chelsea||PPY||Two-time winner of award|
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