Jill Scott Honoured By North East Personality of the Year


Staff member
Each year, the North East Football Writers’ Association name their Personality of the Year, a prestigious award given in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, to someone who uses their position in football to benefit the wider community.

This year’s hugely popular choice was former England, Everton and Manchester City star and ‘Queen of the Jungle,’ Jill Scott, who described it as, “an amazing honour.”

Jill received the award from Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Patron, Steve Harper, at last night’s (5 March) star-studded event in Durham in front of her family and representatives from across North East football. Guests included Sunderland and Newcastle managers, Tony Mowbray and Eddie Howe, as well as Alan Shearer, who is also a Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Patron.

England’s second most capped player, Jill is from Sunderland and played a key role in the Lioness’ team that inspired the nation by winning last year’s Euros.

An ambassador for the charities Variety and Red Sky Foundation, Jill was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours list in recognition of services to women’s football and has gone on to become a well-known television personality, winning 2022’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Born in Sunderland, 35-year-old Jill now lives in Manchester with her fiancée Shelly Unitt, and retired from football in August.

In 2022, she returned to her first club, Boldon Girls FC, for the BBC’s We Are England, to promote the importance of the grassroots game. The programme also highlighted the impact the Lionesses are making for a whole new generation of young footballers.

On receiving the Personality of the Year Award, Jill was asked about last year’s famous Euros win, and said: “I was so fortunate to be part of a great group, of staff and the team, and to finally get that gold medal. I think I competed in 10 tournaments in over 16 years, so that was kind of the most special moment ever.

“I now have a hideous tattoo on my arm that’s mean to be a lioness but it’s like a really bad cat tattoo. But every time I look down on it, I’m just so proud because it reminds me of that win at Wembley.

“I think I swore a bit in the game. I think that was the North East passion coming out of me. I’ve never shied away that I was an average player but with a big heart and I thank the North East for that because I think if you’re from the area then that’s instilled in you.”

Other North East Football Writers’ Association award recipients included Sunderland goalkeeper, Anthony Patterson (Young Player of the Year), Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes, (Men’s Player of the Year) and Durham FC’s Sarah Robson (Women’s Player of the Year).

Gateshead FC and Marske United FC received special recognition, while Lennie Lawrence and Doug Weatherall were both honoured with the John Fotheringham Award (Doug’s award delayed from the year before) and Newcastle’s former physio, Derek Wright, received the Bob Cass Award.

The North East Football Writers' Association Awards night, sponsored by William Hill, celebrates the best of North East football and is held annually at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham. The event raises funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which is part of Newcastle Hospitals Charity and helps find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer.

Working within the NHS and in partnership with other leading charities and organisations, the work funded directly benefits cancer patients in the North East and Cumbria and plays a significant role in the international fight against the disease.

The North East Football Writers’ Association Awards are voted for by football writers across the region.

The previous winners of the North East Personality of the Year trophy, in Association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, are:

• Chris Kamara

• Luke O’Nien

• Steph Houghton

• Alan Shearer

• Jermain Defoe

• Steve Harper

• Robbie Elliott

• Niall Quinn

Jill Scott Tony Mowbray (1).JPG