On a rare dry winter night in Manchester, preparations were well underway for the 3rd annual Football Blogging Awards.
Hosted at the National Football Museum for the 2nd year in a row the scene was set for what would be a magnificent night. Tables laid, certificates and awards ready and last but certainly not least beer chilled.
7pm, the gates opened and nearly 350 guests were presented on arrival with several complementary drinks from @CarlsbergFooty and had full access to the museum for an hour before referee and host for the night Kate Riley (@SkyKateRiley) of Sky Sports News fame called everyone to their seats for kick off.
Introductory speeches out of the way from both @Cooper_FBAs and Campo Retro the whistle was called for the half time buffet with pies and pints both on the menu alongside a suite of other tasty snacks to keep everyone satisfied.
Time for the awards. Kate Riley called upon a list of special guests to present awards and the list of award nominees stood over 100 tall.
First award up for grabs was the Best New Football Blog. Anfield HQ took the fans choice with Ben and Gareth from the Football History Boys taking the judges choice.
Next was the Best Established Football Blog and Football Fancast took the rewards home as worthy fan winners with My Old Man Said narrowly winning the judges vote.
The Best Young Football Blog had lots of competition and the fans choice decided Footy Antics as. The judges choice then went to Football Every Day who had travelled all the way from San Francisco for the event.
The next award that was being read out by Kate Riley was the Best Gambling Football Blog. Paddy Power won the award for the second year running as fans choice with the judges choice deciding on Unibet who both came to the stage to graciously accept their awards.
The Best Female Football Blogger was up next and inaugural winner of the award The Liver Bird reclaimed her awards before three time nominee Yes I Can Explain the Offside Rule took home the judges vote.
The Best Football Podcast was up next with Arsenal bloggers A Bergkamp Wonderland taking home the fans choice with Wolves Fancast claiming the judges choice award with delight.
The Redmen TV walked up to the stage to claim the best Video Football Blog for the 2nd year running giving a rousing speech to encourage more bloggers to voice their opinions. Steve from STR Skill School won the judges vote but was unable to collect his award in person because he was busy filming Wayne Rooney. A sign of how far he has coming in his three years of making football videos.
The Best Football Club Blog was the next award for taking and Addicted to Spurs coolly slotted it in the bag before Sky Blues Blog was unexpectedly called to the stage saying the award was the best thing to happen to Coventry City in over 20 years’ time.
The Best Fantasy Premier League Football Blog was the next award and Fantasy Football Pundits were the third blog this year to hold on to their award with the judges’ choice going to Fantasy Football First.
The last two awards were new to the 2014 set up. The Best Football Forum and Best Social Football Account. The Best Football Forum fans award went to Grand Old Team and judges choice going to MCFC Forum.
The Best Social Football Account went to The SPORT Bible for the fans choice and USA Soccer Guy for the judges vote.
That tied up the evening with many of the 300+ crowd staying for a few drinks before the organisers, Kate Riley and a few other bloggers headed off the Deansgate Locks for a few after party drinks.
Here’s to next year!
A full list of the winners can be found below
A full list of the nominees can be found below