Alessia Russo wins Player of the Year at the inaugural Women’s Football Awards – and poses with hosts Eni Aluko and Jamie Carragher – as Harry Kane and Declan Rice are honored for their support of women’s football
- Alessia Russo was voted Player of the Year at the Women’s Football Awards last night
- Meanwhile, Barcelona star Keira Walsh has won the international player award
- Both Harry Kane and Declan Rice were recognized at the awards ceremony
Alessia Russo was voted Player of the Year at the inaugural Women’s Football Awards on Thursday, as London hosted the first-ever public-voted ceremony recognizing all levels of the game.
The Manchester United star posed with hosts Jamie Carragher and Eni Aluko at the star-studded event, which saw his England team-mate Keira Walsh win the international player award.
Russo and Euro 2022 Player of the Tournament Walsh were the two key players in the Lionesses’ triumph last year, with Man United star Russo scoring four goals en route to Sarina Wiegman’s side lifting the trophy.
Lauren James was also one of the winners, with the Chelsea striker being named Young Player of the Year alongside Liverpool’s Missy Bo Kearns.
Elsewhere, Harry Kane and Declan Rice were both recognized in the Football Ally of the Year category while Arsenal legend and pundit Ian Wright won Women’s Football Champion of the Year.
Alessia Russo was voted Player of the Year at the inaugural Women’s Football Awards on Thursday.
The star-studded event was hosted by Jamie Carragher (centre right) and Eni Aluko (far left)
Former Chelsea and England striker Aluko (left) said on Thursday night: ‘Tonight was a highlight of my career. It was a first for women’s football and a historic moment for the game’
Tottenham’s Rosella Ayane and West Ham’s Viviane Assayi have paid tribute to Kane and Rice for their behind-the-scenes support of the women’s game.
Over 20,000 votes from the public were cast for the winners and later ratified by an expert jury headed by Manchester United’s Nikita Parris, Sky Sports News presenter Hayley McQueen and Real Madrid midfielder Caroline Weir.
Former Chelsea and England striker Aluko said: “Tonight was a highlight of my career. It was a first for women’s football and a historic moment for football. I’m so proud of to be part of this event. For the first time, women’s football got the recognition it deserved. It’s all the more special that the public nominated and voted for these awards.
The striker was instrumental in England’s Euro 2022 triumph, scoring four vital goals
“To see so many incredible footballers, people, organizations and brands recognized for advancing and improving the game we love was phenomenal and I have to thank our main sponsors, SHEIN, and supporting sponsors Klarna and Visa, for helped put together such a memorable evening.
“From superstar players to grassroots organizations promoting the game in their day, we saw the best of the best being recognized tonight and it was a dream come true to be a part of it alongside Jamie Carragher and the Women’s team. Football Awards.
“So many big names attended this event. It was amazing. Big credit to all the winners. We are already planning the event in 2024.’
Carragher added: “Eni and I have been at the Women’s Football Awards since day one and feeling the atmosphere in the venue tonight was fantastic.” It was a special event.
“It was a real celebration of women’s football. I look forward to seeing the sport continue to grow at a phenomenal rate and will do what I can to help.
“All of the winners are incredibly deserving.”
In other awards, Girls on the Ball has been recognized as Journalist or Broadcaster of the Year while former Everton and Liverpool star Fern Whelan, the first director of women’s football EDI for the PFA , won the Off The Pitch award.
Russo has been electric for Manchester United this season and is proving a deserving winner
Meanwhile, Harry Kane and Declan Rice have reaped awards for their support of women’s football
The Tottenham striker (left) and West Ham midfielder (right) were praised by WSL stars Rosella Ayane and Viviane Assayi at the event on Thursday night for their support of women’s football.
Barcelona and Lionesses midfielder Keira Walsh has won the international player award
Whelan has been widely praised for her role in improving opportunities in football for women and girls from marginalized communities.
The Manchester Laces have been honored with the Grassroots Initiative of the Year for their work in encouraging participation in women’s football, while TV station star and Women’s Super League Hall of Famer Karen Carney, received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award as the last gong of the evening. Her award was presented by Olympic gold medalist Sally Gunnell.
Former England captain Carol Thomas, who led the Lionesses to the 1984 European final, has received a special recognition award.
Thomas is considered a pioneer of women’s football and captained England to seven tournaments, winning two of them, including the 1976 Home Open and the 1985 Invitational Mundialito, known as the Little Cup. world.