Manchester United's Bushell wins 2023 Eamonn Dolan Award

Sir Alex Ferguson with Dave Bushell and his wife and daughter (photo courtesy of Manchester United)

Sir Alex Ferguson with Dave Bushell and his wife and daughter (photo courtesy of Manchester United)

SIR ALEX FERGUSON has presented Manchester United Academy Player Liaison Officer Dave Bushell with the 2023 Eamonn Dolan Award for his outstanding contribution to youth development.

Bushell has worked full-time for United since January 1995, in roles including Youth Development Officer, Head of Education and Welfare, and now Player Liaison Officer.


  • 2023: Dave Bushell (Manchester United)
  • 2022: Jon Rudkin (Leicester City), John Allpress (Tottenham), Lewis Goater (Arsenal)
  • 2021: Huw Jennings (Fulham), Dan Ashworth (Brighton)
  • 2020: Trevor Peake (Leicester City), Neil Bath (Chelsea), Tony Whelan (Manchester United)
  • 2019: John McDermott (Tottenham), Vic Bragg (Brighton)
  • 2018: Chris Ramsey (QPR), Steve Avory (Charlton)
  • 2017: Lee Herron (Reading), Dave Parnaby (Middlesbrough), Natalie Henderson (Newcastle)

Head of Academy Nick Cox has described him as a “custodian of the culture”. Bushell was presented with the award - which is named in honour of former Reading Academy Manager Eamonn Dolan, who died from cancer in June 2016 at the age of 48 - at the Premier League’s annual Youth Development Conference at Old Trafford.

It was fitting that Ferguson, with whom Bushell had worked for many years at United, was the person to present the award.

Bushell has previously described his role as “dealing with youngsters, looking after them."

He has added: "It’s the people; being proud of people like Marcus [Rashford], but also all the others, like Jimmy Dunne or Joe Rothwell, or Gerard Pique at Barcelona. I remember with Gerard, the manager (Ferguson) came out and said, 'Everything’s done, the only problem now is we need some good digs for him, so if we don’t sign him, it’s because of you, Dave!'“

Cox said recently: “Dave’s years of service for Manchester United have been phenomenal. Long-standing staff such as him are vital to the Academy - they are custodians of culture and ensure that we stay true to the values that have ensured that the Academy has continued to produce world-class players throughout its history."

Bushell’s friend and colleague Tony Whelan, who is United’s Academy Programme Advisor, won the Eamonn Dolan Award in 2000.

READ MORE: Eamonn Dolan Award 2021

READ MORE: Eamonn Dolan Award 2020

More stories

Sign up to our newsletter to get all the latest news from The Guru