In the build-up to The FA Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, The FA will celebrate the eight national winners of the 2013 FA Community Awards presented by McDonald’s.
Volunteers who have dedicated their time to improve grassroots football to the benefit of their respective communities.
These volunteers are the lifeblood of the game and without their dedication to football we simply wouldn’t have the national sport that we know and love.
Every Manchester United or Wigan Athletic player in the Community Shield will have started their careers in parks, playgrounds and streets throughout the world and will have their own grassroots story to tell.
They will all owe a part of their success to a volunteer or coach who introduced them to the game and began their journey to becoming a Premier League or FA Cup winner.
“Volunteers like our winners help to develop young players’ love of the game and are integral in keeping the grassroots game alive,” said England’s World Cup Final hat-trick hero and McDonald’s Director of Football, Sir Geoff Hurst.
The 2013 FA Community Award Winners
West Lancashire Girls League – FA Charter Standard League
The West Lancashire Girls League is one of the country’s largest football leagues for female players from the age of seven to 18.
Seaton Delaval Dyanmos JFC – FA Charter Standard Club
Seaton Delaval Dynamos JFC from Northumberland offers kids of all ages the chance to enjoy football with teams spanning from the under-11s through to under-13s.
Bedhead FC – FA Charter Standard Development Club
Bedhead FC currently runs 18 teams across all age groups, alongside community projects and partnerships, resulting in more than 900 children each week having some form of access to football locally.
Crosfields JFC – FA Charter Standard Community Club
Crosfields JFC celebrate their 15th anniversary and during that time have grown to facilitate more than 450 players across boys, girls and disability football.
Rahi Popat – Young Volunteer of the Year
Rahi Popat from Leicestershire has been with his local club, Hamilton Youth FC, since the age of ten and has dedicated countless hours to helping the club, including coaching two of the teams at just 19 years old.
Ian Clarke – Volunteer of the Year
Ian Clarke joined Moorside Rangers FC in 2009 as Development Officer and his dedication has seen them create several new training and fundraising initiatives in just three years.
Matt Smith – Coach of the Year
As coach of AFC Kempston Colts U10s, Matt is an inspiration to his young players. At a recent assessment day at St. George’s Park he impressed judges including Gareth Southgate.
The seven winners, who will be on the pitch at half-time on Sunday, have all been nominated by their peers and have come out on top against 1,600 other nominees throughout the country.
They will be joined by The People’s Award winner, who will be announced on Sunday...
The FA Community Award winners are the driving forces in local grassroots football