Football Writers' Association (UK)

In 1947, four sports enthusiasts who doubled as journalists decided during an English Channel crossing to enliven their trip by forming the London-based Football Writers' Association. Led by Charles Buchan, a former sports star who still amused his fans with a remarkably popular periodical named Charles Buchan's Football Monthly, the four quickly formalized their group and set down a rule that only carefully screened prospects would be invited into their new club. Rumor has it that free FWA ties were passed out to lucky members who passed close scrutiny as true-blue footballers.

Having successfully established the precedent that membership dues would largely support the FWA, the founding football fans went on to build a reputation for welcoming accredited newspaper and agency correspondents and for having a spiffy new annual award called the Footballer Of The Year, which would go to the player who attracted the most votes from the organization's cheerful membership. With a current count of approximately 400 members, the association has spread like well-fertilized field grass to nearby regions that could benefit from a good game of football. Needless to say, the Web has reached the offices of the association, and members can now vote on the player of the year and otherwise participate in the association's doings without stirring from their comfortable office chairs.

The FWA, which regularly publishes reports on football events though its website, is currently sponsored by banking giant Barclays.

Visit the FWA here: http://www.footballwriters.co.uk.

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