Date: 26th July 2022
Upon the completion of the award presentations for the 2021 annual National Fans Awards, we decided that now was an appropriate time to recap on all 2021’s deserving winners to members and fellow supporters.
Since 2016, the SFSA has provided Scottish supporters with the opportunity to celebrate everything that is great about the game we love, by running Scotland’s annual National Fan Awards. These awards have been a great success with both SFSA members and non-members alike jumping at the chance, in their thousands, to vote for their desired winners in a number of categories.
Back in January, SFSA Director, Hannah Bardell MP announced 2021’s winners live on BBC’s Off the Ball, resulting in a hectic few months for our Fan Awards team, with numerous presentations being arranged and carried out for each of our 2021 winners. Now, upon the completion of these presentations, we felt that it would be appropriate to remind members about these winners which were chosen democratically by Scottish football supporters from all across the nation.
Despite the challenges 2021 has posed for the country, it now seems possible that it could prove to be a turning point in the fortunes of the Scottish national team. After making a return to the world stage through Euro 2020, the men’s team kicked on and secured a seeded World Cup Playoffs spot after a scintillating campaign which saw them win their last 6 matches of the year. This has reinvigorated supporters, shown in the Tartan Army’s takeover of London, renditions of Yes Sir I Can Boogie and numerous sell outs at Hampden Park.
This love affair with the national team was clearly reflected in the voting of supporters, with national team related winners dominating the awards. Scotland star John McGinn had an excellent year for the national side, scoring four crucial goals in World Cup qualifying. He has once again proved to be a fan’s favourite as he was voted by Scottish football supporters as the Men’s Player of the Year 2021, with a whopping 77% of the vote. He retained his accolade after winning it back in 2019. National team boss, Steve Clarke, was also recognised by Scottish supporters as he was voted Manager of the Year 2021. Clarke amassed 45% of the vote, coming out on top against Callum Davidson of St. Johnstone, which saw him regain the award after last winning it in 2018. Both Clarke and McGinn were presented with their awards by Poppy Lord, our winner of Fan of the Year, for her efforts to see Scotland’s Euro showdown with the Czech Republic televised in Scottish schools.
Another national team related winner was Scotland legend Kim Little, whose contribution to the women’s game was also appreciated by fans as she was voted as Women’s Player of the Year 2021, in the year that she finally retired from international football. Little scored 59 times in 140 appearances for Scotland and takes the award from Chelsea star Erin Cuthbert who had won the award in both of the previous two editions.
The national team domination continued as the Tartan Army took Traveling Support of the Year 2021 and the Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal won the Special Achievement Award 2021.
Further to this, Ally McCoist won Pundit of the Year 2021, Old Firm Facts won Football Writer or Blogger of the Year 2021, Motherwell FC won Family Friendly Club of the year 2021, Stenhousemuir FC won Community Orientated Club of the Year 2021 and Craig Brown won a Lifetime Achievement Award.
SFSA Project Manager, Paddy Hainey said: “First of all, congratulations to each of our winners on their awards and successes in the previous year. At the SFSA we’re delighted to have the National Fan Awards back to their best after a scaled down version in 2020, as it’s important that supporters are given the opportunity to have their say on who deserves to win each award category. 2021 was a tough year for many of us, however the national team provided a well needed and welcome lift, and I think that this is reflected in the dominance of national team related winners in this year’s awards.”
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