Football Writers' Association Merit award, first made
in 1983, goes to a football figure deemed by the selection committee to have
made an outstanding contribution to the national game.
As of 2005, the award had been made
23 times, and 12 England players--one of whom also served as England manager (Bobby Robson)--had won the award. In addition,
the award went twice to former England managers who never earned an England
cap, to Ron Greenwood in 1983 and to Graham Taylor in 2002.