After leading Sheffield United to the Premier League by automatic promotion, Chris Wilder claimed an award of his own last night, receiving the LMA Sir Alex Ferguson trophy. The trophy is awarded to the best manager in English league football as voted for by other coaches.
The Sheffield United manager was on a shortlist alongside Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Daniel Farke, and his second promotion in three years was enough to earn him the prize.
Although the award was fully merited, Wilder seemed surprised by his nomination as he was handed the trophy by Sir Alex Ferguson and Gareth Southgate.
'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,' said Wilder, as quoted by The Daily Mail.
'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 cheque book culture.'
Sheffield United won League One just two years ago, and dominated the Championship alongside Norwich this season.
The Blades’ success was largely down to tactical innovation from Wilder and his coaching staff, as they achieved promotion with a similar budget to previous years.
'It just shows you this can happen, it is dreams, inspiration for everybody,’ added Wilder, who took over Sheffield United in 2016.
'There is a pathway through for all of us and hopefully it has shown the way for everybody else.
'If we can stay in the Premier League, that would be fantastic. It is an exciting and unbelievable experience we are going into.'
In their promotion campaign, Sheffield United conceded just 41 goals, the joint fewest in the division alongside Middlesbrough.
In the other categories, Pep Guardiola won Premier League manager of the year, while Luton Town’s Mick Harford and Lincoln City’s Danny Cowley took home the League One and League Two awards respectively.
Karen Hills won the award for Women’s Championship manager of the year, after leading Tottenham to promotion and Joe Montemurro claimed the Women’s Super League equivalent following a title-winning season at Arsenal.