The 21st annual FA Women’s Football Awards were held at St. George’s Park, the home of England teams.
A special marquee had been erected for the ceremony which was hosted by the BBC’s Dan Walker and former England and Arsenal star Alex Scott.
Either side of dinner and with the Lionesses and England coaching staff all present and in their finery, the awards celebrated the very best of the women’s game including grassroots, domestic and international football.
Here’s a run down of who won what and a few snippets of who said what too…
Unsung Hero – Sue Henson Green & Steve Shipway
Sue Henson-Green and Steve Shipway were each awarded the Unsung Hero Award at The FA Women’s Football Awards.
Steve has volunteered at Birmingham City Women for 18 years having fulfilled various roles to ensure the continued progression of the club, from chairman to physiotherapist. It is thanks to Steve’s commitment and passion that so many young players from Birmingham City have gone on to achieve both international and domestic success.
Having volunteered in grassroots football for more than 30 years, Sue was the first female to become a licensed referee tutor in 1999, a role in which she is still active in, helping to support female referees. Currently the President of the Gloucestershire County Women’s League, she has been pivotal to the league’s growth for 21 years, bringing flexibility, fairness and fun for those that play every week.
On receiving the award, a shocked Sue said, “All I can say is I wouldn’t have received this award without everyone from the Gloucestershire FA, they’re fantastic and this award is for all of them not just me.”
Special Award – Patricia Gregory & Peter Hough
The prestigious Special Award went to two people to acknowledge their long-lived dedication to growing the game.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Women’s Football Association and Patricia is a former member who organised the first ever meeting of the organisation in 1969. The inaugural members were an invaluable part of the development of the women’s game and Patricia played a vital role.
Peter has been part of the Women’s Football Committee from its inception and continues to provide guidance and leadership to the new Ambassadorial Panel. Peter has provided endless support and dedication to the women’s game.
On receiving the award Peter Hough said: “It’s a very special moment, I knew nothing about it. When we started there were four of us, I’m the only active member remaining. When you look back at all of the meetings and committees I’m very grateful that all of those hours have been recognised.”
Best Football Development Initiative in Women’s and Girls’ Football – Blackburn Rovers Community Trust
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust Girls Programme gives girls aged 3-19 from across the North West the opportunity to access fun and free football sessions, earning the club an exceptional reputation in delivering girls football. More than 1,000 girls are involved each year, with sessions led by a highly-qualified roster of coaches, promoting diversity and inclusion through sport.
As part of the Blackburn Rovers brand, they are able to offer the girls unforgettable matchday experiences with both the senior male and female players, inspiring the next generation of footballers.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust also runs a Female Coaching Academy programme, aimed at providing female coaches with the funding to obtain their FA Football Coaching qualifications.
On collecting the award, Andrew Aspinall from Blackburn Rovers said: “All the hard work that gets put in, at times it’s hard to measure the impact but to be recognised at a national awards like this is amazing. It really is all about the girls who take part.”
The FA Women’s National League Manager of the Year – Gemma Donnelly
Gemma Donnelly, manager of Blackburn Rovers received The FA Women’s National League Manager of the Year accolade after leading her side to the title, league cup crown and a place in the FA Women’s Championship.
On receiving the award Gemma said, “It’s a huge honour. It’s been a tough couple of seasons, I’m just so grateful and relieved to be where we are. We’ve had such a great season and I’m immensely proud to receive this. It’s all part of a team effort.”
The FA Women’s Super League Goal of the Year – Beth Mead [Arsenal]
Arsenal’s Beth Mead’s long range wonder strike against Brighton & Hove Albion was voted The FA Women’s Super League Goal of the Year.
Beth Mead’s powerful strike was up against some other incredible goals from Steph Houghton [Manchester City], Courtney Sweetman-Kirk [Liverpool], Magda Eriksson [Chelsea], Ellen White [Birmingham City] and Fara Williams [Reading].
To view the video of the shortlisted goals, click here.
On receiving the award Beth said: “All of the goals on the shortlist speak for themselves. I just want to thank all of the fans and my friends and family who took the time to vote for me, it’s even more special that it’s voted for by them.”
The FA Women’s Super League Save of the Year – Megan Walsh [Yeovil Town]
Yeovil’s Megan Walsh’s save against Liverpool was voted The FA Women’s Super League Save of the Year.
The Yeovil Town stopper’s save was up against some tough opposition from a competitive shortlist including Sophie Baggaley [Bristol City], Hedvig Lindahl [Chelsea], Anke Preuß [Liverpool], Becky Spencer [West Ham United] and Carly Telford [Chelsea].
To view the video of the shortlisted saves, click here.
On receiving the award Megan said: “I was honoured to even be nominated for the award. At the time I wasn’t sure how good it was but looking back it wasn’t bad.
Players’ Player of the Year
The FA Women’s Super League – Sophie Baggaley [Bristol City]
Bristol City’s shot-stopper Sophie Baggaley has enjoyed a fantastic season which included eight clean sheets and culminated in her being named in the 2018/19 PFA Team of the Year.
The FA Women’s Championship– Kit Graham [Charlton Athletic]
Kit Graham was the driving force behind Charlton Athletic’s success this season and ended the season with a hat-trick, helping her team to secure third spot in the Championship table.
The FA Women’s National League Premier Division – Keira Ramshaw [Sunderland]
The captain of Sunderland, Keira Ramshaw, found the net 24 times in just 23 appearances and led her team to a fourth place finish. Keira said, “It’s an honour to receive this award, but as a team collectively we’ve pulled together and had a fantastic season. We’ve got an unbelievable coaching staff.”
The FA Women’s National League Division One – Leah Embley [Burnley]
Burnley ended the season with a win and picked up the FA WNL Division One North Championship trophy. Leah Embley was instrumental throughout the campaign, starting for all 22 games and picking up Opposition Player of the Match 12 times.
Club of the Year
The FA Women’s Super League – Manchester City
The FA Women’s Championship – Manchester United
The FA Women’s National League – Coventry United
The FA Club of the Year Award considers all elements of a club’s performance including achievements on the pitch, excellence in club management and community engagement helping to deliver increased participation and fan engagement.
Manchester City has been recognised not only for the club’s successful year on the pitch, where they won both domestic cup competitions, but also for their work in the community.
Manchester United’s arrival in the FA Women’s Championship ended on a high after winning the league and securing their promotion into the FA Women’s Super League next season having won 18 of their 20 league games. The club also achieved the division’s highest average attendance of 2,148.
Coventry United were also recognised after a great season and for the work that they do in the wider community.
Top Goal Scorer
The FA Women’s Super League– Vivianne Miedema [Arsenal]
Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema became the first player in the competition’s history to surpass the 20-goal mark in a single season. Her 22 goals were instrumental in Arsenal’s title-winning campaign.
The FA Women’s Championship– Jessica Sigsworth [Manchester United]
Manchester United forward Jessica Sigsworth bagged 17 league goals to carry her side to first place in the FA Women’s Championship, ensuring the club’s promotion.
The FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division – Saffron Jordan [Blackburn Rovers]
The FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division – Emily Allen [Oxford United]
In the Southern Premier Division, Emily Allen found the net 16 times for Oxford United and in the Northern Premier Division, Saffron Jordan converted an incredible 32 goals for Blackburn Rovers in the league.
The FA Women’s National League Division One South West – Kerry Bartlett [Keynsham Town]
The FA Women’s National League Division One South East – Alessandra Barreca [Actonian Ladies]
The FA Women’s National League One Midlands– Jade Cross [Wolverhampton Wanderers]
The FA Women’s National League Division One North– Bianca Owens [Norton & Stockton Ancients]
Elsewhere across Division One, Bianca Owens collected the award in the North, for netting 21 goals for Norton & Stockton Ancients Ladies. For the Midlands, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Jade Cross scored 29 goals in 19 appearances.
In Division One South East, Alessandra Barreca bagged an impressive 23 goals in 19 appearances for Actonians Ladies and In the South West, Keynsham Town’s Kerry Bartlett found the net an astonishing 40 times in just 19 appearances.
Reflecting on an evening where all of the Lionesses squad (minus the UWCL finalists Lucy Bronze and Toni Duggan) bound for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 were applauded on stage and wished the best of luck in France, to round of the event, Baroness Sue Campbell, Director of Women’s Football at The FA, said: “It is such a joy to be able to celebrate this evening’s FA Women’s Football Awards after such an incredible year of football, right from grassroots to elite level. The awards tonight have given us the opportunity to reflect and celebrate everything that has been achieved in women’s football this season.
As the World Cup looms and the Lionesses prepare to head to France this summer it has been a year of great excitement in the women’s game. This evening has given us the opportunity to thank all the clubs, players and facilitators who have ensured another great year of progress and development.”
Thanks to the hosts with the … err … mosts too!