After announcing his retirement at the end of the season, legendary football manager Roy Hodgson has won the 2022 Merit Award for more than 40 years of service to the beautiful game.
After a short playing career, Hodgson started managing in 1976, with Swedish club Halmstad. After a brief spell at Bristol City, Roy returned to Sweden for nearly a decade, leading Malmö to five consecutive league championships. He was credited with transforming Swedish football alongside Bob Houghton, and is still a beloved figure at Malmö. With stints in Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Norway and England Hodgson was a truly international manager with influence across European football.
Hodgson’s impressive career has also seen him take the helm at four different national sides, managing Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland before being appointed England manager in 2012. He led the national side for four years, leading them into three international campaigns at Euro 2012, the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016. Hodgson holds the title of oldest manager in Premier League history and is one of only two managers to have taken charge of over 1,000 club games and more than 100 for national teams.
When presented with the prestigious award, Hodgson said: “It is a real honour to receive this award, it is unexpected but that makes me all the more grateful. I never won any trophies as a player unfortunately, so it is nice to be recognised by fellow professionals. It will have pride of place.
“When you have had a long career and you have had some success with it, you have to look back with great gratitude and humility. You realise there are so many steps along the way where things went right for you, and I have had that fortune that everybody needs. I have always tried to do the job with passion, I have had a certain enthusiasm and energy that I have always tried to bring to the job and those two qualities are very important to for anyone in football either player, manager or coach.
“I will look back with great gratitude and humility for what football has given me and it’s wonderful to get a trophy which proves that people believe I have given something back, I will treasure this trophy.”
Congratulations Roy! We wish you all the best in your retirement from everyone at the PFA.