Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year

Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year

The trophy is a scaled-down replica of this statue of Sir Matt Busby outside Old Trafford
Award details
Sport Association football
First award 1988
Editions 29 (As of 2016)
First winner Scotland Brian McClair
Most wins Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo
Spain David de Gea
(3 times each)
Most recent Spain David de Gea

The Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, previously known as the MUFC Members Player of the Year (1988–95), is an award presented to the Manchester United fans' player of the season. It is named after former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, who managed the club in two spells, from 1945 to 1969 and from 1970 to 1971. The award was renamed in his honour in 1996, following his death in 1994, and a new trophy was commissioned – a scaled-down replica of the statue of Busby at the east end of Old Trafford.

The first winner of the award was Brian McClair in 1988, who also became the first player to win it twice when he won in 1992. Since then, six more players have won the award more than once, of which four have won it in consecutive seasons: Roy Keane (1999, 2000), Ruud van Nistelrooy (2002, 2003), Cristiano Ronaldo (2007, 2008) and David de Gea (2014, 2015, 2016). Ronaldo's 2008 win made him the first player to receive the award on three occasions, having also won in 2004. De Gea won the award in 2016 for the third consecutive year, becoming the second player after Ronaldo to do so, and the first to do so in three consecutive seasons.

Voting takes place towards the end of each season, usually in April, and is open to anyone who has an account on the club's official website. Voting was originally done by post until the 1994–95 season, when a phone voting system was introduced.[1] Postal voting forms were included in the club magazine, Inside United, and before that, voting was open only to members of the official supporters club, who would receive a voting form in the post at the end of the season. Until the establishment of the official supporters club, a separate award had been given by the members of its predecessor, the independent Manchester United Supporters Club.

Other end-of-season awards given by Manchester United include the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year Award, the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year Award, the Players' Player of the Year Award and the Goal of the Season Award. Of these, the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year Award and the Players' Player of the Year Award are voted for by the players. The prizes for all five awards are given at an annual awards night, which is held near the end of the league season and broadcast live on the club's television channel, MUTV. A list of winners of the youth awards can be seen here.


Head and shoulders of a man with greying hair.
Brian McClair won the inaugural award in 1988.
The head and torso of a man with short, dark hair. He is wearing a red shirt.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the only outfield player to have won the award three times
David de Gea was the first to win the award for three consecutive seasons

Players in bold are still playing for Manchester United.

Season Name Nationality Position Notes Ref(s)
1987–88 McClair, BrianBrian McClair ScotlandForward [2]
1988–89 Robson, BryanBryan Robson EnglandMidfielderFirst English winner
1989–90 Pallister, GaryGary Pallister EnglandDefender [2]
1990–91 Hughes, MarkMark Hughes WalesForward [3]
1991–92 McClair, BrianBrian McClair ScotlandForwardFirst player to win the award on two occasions
1992–93 Ince, PaulPaul Ince EnglandMidfielder
1993–94 Cantona, EricEric Cantona FranceForwardFirst winner from outside the United Kingdom
1994–95 Kanchelskis, AndreiAndrei Kanchelskis RussiaMidfielder
1995–96 Cantona, EricEric Cantona FranceForward
1996–97 Beckham, DavidDavid Beckham EnglandMidfielder
1997–98 Giggs, RyanRyan Giggs WalesMidfielder [4]
1998–99 Keane, RoyRoy Keane IrelandMidfielder
1999–2000 Keane, RoyRoy Keane IrelandMidfielderFirst player to win the award in consecutive years
2000–01 Sheringham, TeddyTeddy Sheringham EnglandForward [5]
2001–02 Nistelrooy, Ruud vanRuud van Nistelrooy NetherlandsForward [2]
2002–03 Nistelrooy, Ruud vanRuud van Nistelrooy NetherlandsForward
2003–04 Ronaldo, CristianoCristiano Ronaldo PortugalMidfielder [2]
2004–05 Heinze, GabrielGabriel Heinze ArgentinaDefenderFirst winner from outside Europe[2]
2005–06 Rooney, WayneWayne Rooney EnglandForward [5]
2006–07 Ronaldo, CristianoCristiano Ronaldo PortugalMidfielder [6]
2007–08 Ronaldo, CristianoCristiano Ronaldo PortugalMidfielderFirst player to win the award on three occasions[5][7]
2008–09 Vidic, NemanjaNemanja Vidić SerbiaDefender [8]
2009–10 Rooney, WayneWayne Rooney EnglandForward [5]
2010–11 Hernández, JavierJavier Hernández MexicoForward First winner from North America[2]
2011–12 Valencia, AntonioAntonio Valencia EcuadorMidfielder [9]
2012–13 Persie, Robin vanRobin van Persie NetherlandsForward [10]
2013–14 de Gea, DavidDavid de Gea SpainGoalkeeperFirst goalkeeper to win the award[11]
2014–15 de Gea, DavidDavid de Gea SpainGoalkeeper [12]
2015–16 de Gea, DavidDavid de Gea SpainGoalkeeperFirst player to win the award in three consecutive years

Wins by player

Winner Total wins Year(s)
Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo 32004, 2007, 2008
Spain David de Gea 32014, 2015, 2016
Scotland Brian McClair 21988, 1992
France Eric Cantona 21994, 1996
Republic of Ireland Roy Keane 21999, 2000
Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy 22002, 2003
England Wayne Rooney 22006, 2010
England Bryan Robson 11989
England Gary Pallister 11990
Wales Mark Hughes 11991
England Paul Ince 11993
Russia Andrei Kanchelskis 11995
England David Beckham 11997
Wales Ryan Giggs 11998
England Teddy Sheringham 12001
Argentina Gabriel Heinze 12005
Serbia Nemanja Vidić 12009
Mexico Javier Hernández 12011
Ecuador Antonio Valencia 12012
Netherlands Robin van Persie 12013

Wins by playing position

Position Number of wins
Goalkeeper 3
Defender 3
Midfielder 11
Forward 12

Wins by nationality

Nationality Number of winners
 England 7
 Portugal 3
 Netherlands 3
 Spain 3
 France 2
 Ireland 2
 Scotland 2
 Wales 2
 Argentina 1
 Russia 1
 Serbia 1
 Mexico 1
 Ecuador 1


  1. Butler, Cliff, ed. (2004). Manchester United Official Yearbook 1994. Manchester: Manchester United Football Club. p. 161.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Tuck, James (18 May 2011). "Fans honour Hernandez". Manchester United. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  3. "Legends: Mark Hughes". Manchester United. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  4. "First team: Ryan Giggs". Manchester United. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Bostock, Adam (4 May 2010). "Rooney wins club award treble". Manchester United. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  6. Bostock, Adam (15 May 2007). "MUTV Online: United awards". Manchester United. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  7. Bartram, Steve (11 May 2008). "Player of the Year awards". Manchester United. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  8. Hibbs, Ben (17 May 2009). "Vidic does the double". Manchester United. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  9. "Fans honour Valencia". Manchester United. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  10. Tuck, James; Marshall, Adam (15 May 2013). "Van Persie wins fans' award". Manchester United. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  11. Froggatt, Mark (8 May 2014). "De Gea wins fans' award". Manchester United. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  12. Froggatt, Mark (19 May 2015). "De Gea is Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year". Manchester United. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
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