Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder has been crowned the League Managers Association manager of the year after guiding the Blades to Premier League promotion.
Wilder becomes only the fifth manager outside of the top flight to have won the award and the first since Eddie Howe in 2015 after he led Bournemouth to the Premier League.
Sheffield United defied many people’s mid-table predictions as they finished second in the Championship assuring their return to the Premier League for the first time since the 2006/2007 season.
The Blades’ boss beat out some stiff competition to win the prestigious award topping a shortlist which included Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino, Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo and Norwich City’s Daniel Farke.
“To be voted for by your peers to get this award is just unbelievable and caps off an incredible season for me and everybody at Sheffield United,” Wilder said on stage after collecting the award from Sir Alex Ferguson. “I would like to think we have struck a blow for recruitment, training ground, teaching and all the other stuff which goes on behind the scenes – there is no chequebook culture.”
Wilder was also named the Championship manager of the year in what was a tremendous night for the 51-year old as he pipped last season’s winner Pep Guardiola to the main gong.
The Spaniard had to settle for just the Premier League version of the accolade after he guided Manchester City to their second domestic title in a row.
“I want to share it with my players because they are the artists of everything, to my staff because we fought a lot [against] all the managers in the Premier League, especially Jürgen Klopp, an incredible contender to face till the end,” the Manchester City manager said.
Luton’s Mick Harford was named League One manager of the year, while Lincoln’s Danny Crowley won the League Two version after his side’s impressive title-winning campaign.