History for Henry with new award win

Agence France Press

London, May 10:

Arsenal’s Thierry Henry has become the first player to win the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award for the second year running. The French striker won by the largest margin for 34 years, securing almost 90 per cent of the vote. Chelsea’s Frank Lampard was runner-up, while Henry’s Highbury team-mate Patrick Vieira came third.

Henry won football’s oldest individual award for the first time last year when he pipped Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to the post by a narrow margin. Since the award was introduced in 1947-48, no-one had previously won it in successive seasons and only six other players had won it twice.

Henry said: “It’s a real honour to receive this award for the second year running, but as I always say it would not have been possible without my team-mates and of course the manager. When I collected this award last season I would have swapped it for a team award, but thankfully this year we won the Premiership title so I can really enjoy it this time around.” Gerry Cox, chairman of the Football Writers’ Association, said: “Last year it was a close contest and a somewhat controversial outcome, but this time Thierry Henry has been the runaway winner.”

“His skill, athleticism, teamwork and goals have set new standards in the English Premiership, but above all that it is about the way he plays the game that has captivated people throughout the country. While it bodes well for Arsenal’s future, one can only fear for England’s defenders in Euro 2004,” he added. Henry will be honoured at the FWA’s Footballer of the Year dinner in London on May 20. The highest winning margin was Leeds United’s Scotland midfielder Billy Bremner, who polled 95 per cent of votes when he won the award in 1970.