The Football Writers Association was formed on Sept 22nd 1947 by a group of journalists travelling home by boat from an international match in Brussels. Charles Buchan of Sunderland, Arsenal and England fame, was one of the founder members – the others were Roy Peskett, John Thompson and Clifford Webb.
It was writer-publisher Buchan, whose Football Monthly was so popular in the post-war years, who later proposed the election of an annual Footballer of the Year.
Forty two members were involved in the voting for the first Footballer of the Year in 1948 – Stanley Mathews. The FWA now has in excess of 400 members and the Footballer of the Year is the only award given by the association.
In 2008 Cristiano Ronaldo became the seventh double winner, following Mathews, Tom Finney, Kenny Dalglish, John Barnes, and Gary Lineker. Thierry Henry set a new mark with a hat-trick of wins during his time at Arsenal.