Football Writers' Association
FOOTBALLER of the YEAR

     
 

Stanley Matthews,
who was the first 'Footballer of the Year' in 1948 and won the same honour 15 years later.

Don Revie, 
although probably now best remembered as a manager, as a player he helped Manchester City to two FA Cup finals in the mid-1950s.

Gordon Banks, 
the World Cup winner who is the only English-born goalkeeper to have received the award

Steve Nicol, 
an important member of the successful Liverpool side of the 1980s.

Thierry Henry, 
the first player to retain the title, in 2004.
 

On 22nd September 1947 a group of British football journalists returning  on a cross-channel ferry from a Belgium v England fixture the previous day, decided to form a Football Writers' Association. Three of their number - Charles Buchan (News Chronicle), Frank Coles (Daily Telegraph) and Roy Peskett (Daily Mail) were asked to draft rules and a month later, at a meeting at a Euston hotel, Ivan Sharpe of the Sunday Chronicle became the first Chairman.

At that meeting Roy Peskett proposed that an annual award be given 'to the player, who by precept and example on and off the field, shall have been considered to have done most for football during that season.' The idea was accepted and the award has been given annually since then, after a vote by members of the FWA. The first winner was Stanley Matthews and in memory of that great player it is the Sir Stanley Matthews Trophy that is now awarded to the winner each season.

The Professional Footballers Association introduced their own Player of the Year awards in 1974.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

   

1948

Stanley Matthews (Blackpool)

    1949 Johnny Carey (Manchester United)
    1950 Joe Mercer (Arsenal)
    1951 Harry Johnston (Blackpool)
    1952 Billy Wright (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
    1953 Nat Lofthouse (Bolton Wanderers)
    1954 Tom Finney (Preston North End)
    1955 Don Revie (Manchester City)
    1956 Bert Trautmann (Manchester City)
    1957 Tom Finney (Preston North End)
    1958 Danny Blanchflower (Tottenham Hotspur)
    1959 Syd Owen (Luton Town)
    1960 Bill Slater (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
    1961 Danny Blanchflower (Tottenham Hotspur)
    1962 Jimmy Adamson (Burnley)
    1963 Stanley Matthews (Stoke City)
    1964 Bobby Moore (West Ham United)
    1965 Bobby Collins (Leeds United)
    1966 Bobby Charlton (Manchester United)
    1967 Jackie Charlton (Leeds United)
    1968 George Best (Manchester United)
    1969 Dave Mackay (Derby County) shared with
Tony Book
(Manchester City)
    1970 Billy Bremner (Leeds United)
    1971 Frank McLintock (Arsenal)
    1972 Gordon Banks (Stoke City)
    1973 Pat Jennings (Tottenham Hotspur)
    1974 Ian Callaghan (Liverpool)
    1975 Alan Mullery (Fulham)
    1976 Kevin Keegan (Liverpool)
    1977 Emlyn Hughes (Liverpool)
    1978 Kenny Burns (Nottingham Forest)
    1979 Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)
    1980 Terry McDermott (Liverpool)
    1981 Frans Thijssen (Ipswich Town)
    1982 Steve Perryman (Tottenham Hotspur)
    1983 Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)
    1984 Ian Rush (Liverpool)
    1985 Neville Southall (Everton)
    1986 Gary Lineker (Everton)
    1987 Clive Allen (Tottenham Hotspur)
    1988 John Barnes (Liverpool)
    1989 Steve Nicol (Liverpool)
    1990 John Barnes (Liverpool)
    1991 Gordon Strachan (Leeds United)
    1992 Gary Lineker (Tottenham Hotspur)
    1993 Chris Waddle (Sheffield Wednesday)
    1994 Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers)
    1995 Jurgen Klinsmann (Tottenham Hotspur)
    1996 Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
    1997 Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea)
    1998 Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
    1999 David Ginola (Tottenham Hotspur)
    2000 Roy Keane (Manchester United)
    2001 Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)
    2002 Robert Pires (Arsenal)
    2003 Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
    2004 Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
    2005 Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
    2006 Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
    2007 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
    2008 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
    2009 Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
      2010 Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
      2011 Scott Parker (West Ham United)
      2012 Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
      2013 Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
      2014 Luis Suárez (Liverpool)
      2015 Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
      2016 Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
      2017 N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)