Lee Black - Bobby Moore Award Winner

Lee’s impact upon his team can’t be overstated. Lee took over leadership of his nephew’s club after many of the clubs’ coaches and management staff had to step down. Not wanting the kids to miss a season he took over the challenge of running the club. Immediately after the parents of the children at the club noticed a huge change in their attitude towards football. 

Lee’s approach towards the club wasn’t just limited to football. Lee implemented a range of charity initiatives raising over £1000. He was instrumental in starting a Ukraine appeal getting the kids to play in blue and yellow as well as collecting clothing before games for Ukrainian refugees. 

The children grew in their confidence in the games and their personal lives and are so proud of their local club, he is always there to support them in any aspect of their lives. 

Mohammed Waheed - Spirit of Football Award

Mohammed set up the club over 10 years ago, in a heavily deprived part of West Riding. The area had no football facilities and few public services. However, over the past decade Mohammed has filled these gaps turning it into so much more than a football club. Mohammed expanded the club, organising mental health workshops for its players and members of the local community, establishing a racism project and gaining over £10,000 of sponsorship for the project. He also set up facilities to provide food parcels to players and families in the local community who are in need. 

No task is too big or too small for Mohamed and he takes on everything from club registrations and coaching to mentoring juniors to attain jobs and helping them through mental health issues. Mohammed is a phenomenal individual who is the perfect example of the spirit and power of football. 

York Minister Engineering League - Grassroots League of the Year

The York Minister Engineering League is one of the largest and most successful amateur leagues in the country. Operating in a 35-mile radius around the City of York the league boasts an impressive 90 teams. While the leagues primary focus is on providing good natured competition to the local clubs, the league often puts sporting competition aside to focus helping their local communities.  Whether its helping to raise over £5000 for York against cancer or putting league rivalries aside to support the local air ambulance. The league leads by the example of its many long-serving dedicated committee members who put their many years of experience to good use, making both the league and their local community the best it possibly can be. The York Minister Engineering League is a perfect example of the positive impact a grassroots league can have on its members as well as their local community. 

Martyn Grove and Matt Kiley - Grounds Team of the Year Award

Martyn Grove and Matt Kiely are absolutely dedicated to the playing fields of Hambledon F.C. When the club made Hambledon their home they were faced with the daunting task of turning an old famers field into a football clubs’ home. However, both Martyn and Matt rose to this challenge turning this field into a state of the art playing surface.

Both are absolutely dedicated to providing the best possible playing surface for their club, employing techniques and machinery usually only seen at professional clubs. Their dedication they show never ceases to amaze the club and helps it to attract more and more players each year. Their adaptability and willingness to learn really makes them stand out and makes them deserving winners of the Ground Team of the Year Award. 

Rachel Robinson - Grassroots Coach of the Year- Youth

Rachel Robinson has been football coach at Urmston FC for over four years and in that time has been a constant positive influence for the club and its players. What makes Rachel an exceptional coach is her care for the children she coaches, working tirelessly to bring smiles to all the children’s faces. Being the only female football coach at the club has given visibility to the children that they too can be anything they want to be.

Rachel creates an infectious energy that is felt by all around her due to the overwhelming respect the children and parents feel for her.  Rachel is known to never do ‘just’ enough getting involved outside and above her coaching role. Ensuring her players know when they’ve done a good job, understanding what needs to improve and giving them steps to getting there. 

Nicola Kirk Pitts - Volunteer of the year

Nicola Kirk Pitts has been instrumental in the smooth running of Moorgreen Colts FC, taking her role as Child Welfare Officer above and beyond the usual call of duty. Nicola initially took on her volunteer position at Moorgreen Colts FC to ensure children can play safely in an inclusive environment. With two football playing sons of her own, Nicola soon started adding more strings to her bow by becoming fixtures secretary, tea bar facilitator and sourcing referees.  

Proud mum and football mad Nicola is a massive advocate for RESPECT and is a champion for ensuring fair play within the club, at all levels. Notably, through her relationship with the referees ensuring they are treated with respect and receive no abuse. This level of attention hasn’t gone unnoticed, and several referees have sent letters of gratitude to the club praising Nicola in her efforts.

 

Shaun Wilson - Grassroots coach of the Year

Shaun Wilson has been described as the ‘best coach they’ve ever had’ by his players and it’s easy to see why. Being a part of the Newton Aycliffe Football Club since 2011 he has progressed from the Under 11’s coach to now being the women’s coach.  

Shaun’s willingness to understand his team’s needs is proven when one of his players developed a life (and game) changing condition. This meant there was an immediate change to how this individual player could train and play. Shaun was quick to instil these changes through learning and understanding about this condition to best facilitate their rehabilitation.  

Working voluntarily, Shaun has been working closely with a player to setup a Football Rehabilitation Centre with FA officials. It is this hard work and selflessness that Shaun has won the ‘Grassroots Coach of the Year’.

Fighting Fit Football - Grassroots Project of the year

At the age of 45 Fighting Fit Football’s founder Nick Light was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and since then he has been determined to fight the disease. Knowing how beneficial regular physical activity is to those with the disease, Nick was determined to help others who have been diagnosed through the power of grassroots football.

He founded the project in 2019 and quickly built a Fighting Fit Football community which has a genuine warmth and a determination to support members on and off the pitch. The team train weekly and have even taken part in the Parkinson’s Cup in Saint George’s Park and has seen their members connect with other players around the country. Under Nick’s leadership, the team have become a true grassroots community and they support each other through their challenges of fighting a progressive disease.

Joshua College - Rising Star of the Year

18 year old Joshua was coaching his local team when he became aware of a medical emergency on a different pitch. Joshua, who had no prior medical training, immediately assisted with CPR and used the available defibrillator. Thanks to Joshua’s efforts the player who had collapsed survived and inspired Joshua to champion understanding around Sudden Cardiac Arrests and is currently working with the Nottinghamshire FA to develop training materials and to share his experience with fellow coaches.

Coming from a deprived area in Nottingham, Joshua saw the impact grassroots football can have on a community and decided he wanted to make a change within his community. Joshua approached local team Rossoneri FC and formed an U18 team encouraging disadvantaged young people to join for free without charging fees. Joshua is resilient, self-sufficient and above all a true inspiration to the whole community.

Katie Allen - Grassroots Match official of the Year

At just 17 years old Katie has developed and adapted to a whole host of challenges and has done so with a beaming smile. She has refereed an incredible 60 games this season and has recently become the youngest referee to take charge of the Women’s Junior Cup in Beaconsfield.

She doesn’t just let the whistle do the talking; off the field she is championing equality within the grassroots football community. 

After becoming frustrated at her school for not accepting girls can play all sports and not just female perceived sports, she started a petition. This inspired Katie to join the BBFA (Berkshire and Buckinghamshire) FA Youth Council and the Youth Sport Trust where she is a board member of the youth council driving change, diversity and inclusion. What Katie has achieved is impressive and she is a deserved winner of the Grassroots Match Official of the Year.

Larkfield FC - Grassroots Club of the Year

Larkfield FC has led the way in supporting players, coaches and their immediate community. The club constantly adapts to help players as well as coaches. From providing FA Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Concussion qualifications to Refereeing programmes to creating pathways for the Ladies team - no stone is left unturned. Within the community the club has been instrumental in supporting the local foodbank as well as hosting local litter picks and most recently, ‘planting a tree for the Jubilee’.

Larkfield has also been a leader in increasing mental health awareness within the grassroots game, priding itself on having a trained Mental Health Champion as well as donating match fee’s to the mental health charity the Tommy Crush Foundation. The club has helped the community, player and coaches in overcoming any challenge they might face, making them a deserving recipient of the Grassroots Club of the Year award. 

Fun Football

We’ve teamed up with Erin Cuthbert, Chris Gunter and Jack Rutter to help keep your kids active and improve their football skills. From beginner to advanced, there are fun football challenges for everyone.

Is your child ready for a fun challenge?

Earn stickers through different creative and football-based challenges.

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