Michael Brown has been named football writer of the year.

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For an unprecedented fifth year in a row, the Herald on Sunday's Michael Brown has been named football writer of the year.

The title, bestowed by the New Zealand Soccer Media Association, has been awarded since 1980 and was won four times in a row in 1989-92 by Russell Gray - the record until now.

Judge Kent Gray said: "The All Whites' march to the 2010 World Cup and their fairytale story in South Africa afforded New Zealand's football writing fraternity a rich source of copy during the judging period.

"Michael's worldly view of the New Zealand game, coupled with a writing style that would not be out of place on the back pages of any of the top British newspapers, allowed him to relate New Zealand football's dream year with a depth rarely seen in today's sports pages, where dine and dash, rent-a-quote reporting has become the unsatisfying norm."

Brown's entry included a feature on All Whites' striker Rory Fallon, a column on why the All Whites did not deserve the 2009 Halberg teams award, an analysis of the 1-1 draw with Italy during the World Cup, filed live from South Africa at the full-time whistle, a news story on Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert going unpaid and a piece on the emotions generated when fans were calling for Herbert's head.