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Solent University BA (Hons) Sports Journalism student, Jacob Tanswell, is one of just two students, chosen from hundreds of submissions throughout the UK, to win an inaugural Hugh McIlvanney ‘Student Football Writer of the Year’ award, from the respected Football Writers Association (FWA).

27th May 2021
Sport and fitness

Jim White, of the Telegraph and FWA National Committee, oversaw the judging process and said: “It's been a joy to read through them all – there is clearly a lot of talent out there.”

Jacob, who comes from Southampton and was signed to Eastleigh Football Club, is in his second year at Solent University. The win was announced virtually by Manchester City and Portugal defender Ruben Dias.

Jacob aged 20 said: "I'm thrilled to have won this award and achieve recognition in this area. My article discussed important issues impacting young professional football players, when they don’t go on to get signed by clubs, aiming to shine a light on improvements which need to be made to support young athletes.

“The lecturers at Solent have been thoroughly supportive throughout the process and have given me the freedom I needed to experiment with different types of writing, to help me develop as a journalist.”

Sports Journalism Course Leader, Will Cope, said: “We are absolutely thrilled for Jacob as it is a true honour to be recognised by the best and most esteemed sports writers in this country. Jacob's piece was emotive and powerful, and I am not the least bit surprised that it connected with the judging panel. He is an excellent student and should use this as a springboard for his journalism career.

“The Sports Journalism course at Solent University is rightly recognised within the industry as one of the leading places in the country to train young people and prepare them for what to expect when they graduate. We are all very proud of Jacob and his achievement."

As well as a trophy, Jacob has won £500, a free membership of the FWA for a year, an opportunity for work experience, plus the chance to benefit from mentoring from a member of the judging panel.

Read Jacob's winning article here.