Mike Breeze has been involved in local football in West Yorkshire for more than five decades; first at Greenhead Youth Club in Huddersfield and then with Beckfoot School in Bradford before recently retiring.
It was as the leader of Greenhead Youth Club that first saw Mike involved in grassroots football, working tirelessly to ensure that children in the local area had as much access as possible to football. Mike played a big part in helping to arrange 5-a-side tournaments, coaching and training sessions and also volunteering to assist the fledging Craven Junior Football League.
Mike was heavily involved in the league for 20 years, covering everything from refereeing to general secretary to acting as the league administrator. During his two decades with the league, Craven Junior Football League grew to accommodate more than 350 teams from Bradford and the surrounding districts and is now in its 32nd season.
Mike’s commitment to the local community has seen him involved in countless events and initiatives, including a 24-hour 5-a-side match featuring just 15 players to help raise money for local charities. These charity drives brought the community together, as well as acting as a way of getting more people involved in local football teams and leagues.
Mike’s passion and enthusiasm for junior football also resulted in a series of local football teams achieving national success under his guidance. This included Mike leading three different teams to the Youth National 5-a-side finals on three separate occasions.
It was his enthusiasm, hard work and professionalism that played a large factor in the Craven, Aire & Wharfe Junior League receiving the FA Community Award for Charter Standard League of the Year in 2012 from West Riding FA.
Now retired, Mike still attends up to four junior football matches every weekend and is always on hand to offer advice and help to any teams in the area who need his expertise on anything from training sessions and league admin to setting up and managing club squads.
Mike’s guidance and influence over his young players has helped dozens of youngsters over the years turn their life around and many of whom have gone on to volunteer for several football clubs throughout the region over the years.
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