Sunderland AFC’s Louise Wanless was recognised for her significant contribution to north east football at the North East Football Writers’ Association Annual Awards, on Sunday evening.
Wanless was awarded the John Fotheringham Award at a star-studded ceremony at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf Club and Spa in Durham.
Named after one of the most popular and respected football writers in the north east, the John Fotheringham Award is presented by the committee to someone who has made a substantial impact on football in the region, either at a high-profile level or in a grassroots role. Former winners include Niall Quinn, George Baker, Sir Bobby Robson, John Pickering and Jack Charlton.
Louise has worked in football for over 20 years, starting her career at Middlesbrough Football Club before joining Sunderland AFC in 2003, where she has been the Black Cats’ press chief for over 16 years.
Louise was presented the award by former Sunderland AFC captain Kevin Ball.
Sunderland AFC managing director, Tony Davison said “Louise has dedicated her career to football and Sunderland AFC in particular. It is fantastic to see one of the unsung heroes of football in the north east receiving this recognition. The whole club is proud of her and what she has achieved – this award is thoroughly deserved.”
Former Sunderland forward Josh Maja won the young player of the year prize and Black Cats manager Jack Ross picked it up on his behalf following Maja's move to Bordeaux.