Grassroots Football Awards
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Meet our grassroots supporters of the year, and nominate your own heroes for 2019

The deadline to make your nominations for this year’s FA and McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards is on Friday 10 May, with ten different categories in which to put forward your own grassroots heroes for an honour. Whether it’s supporters, referees, coaches or volunteers, winners will be those whose actions and behaviour make our values part of the game for their clubs, leagues and communities. If you needed any more inspiration, read below about James and Will Bather, who won the supporters of the year award for 2018.

Tuesday 30 Apr 2019

 

"They're just motivators, they're coaches, one of them thinks he's Jurgen Klopp!”

The words of Neston Nomads Girls U12s manager Rob Lawton, when asked about the ever-present attendance of James and William Bather at his team’s training sessions and games.

After first attending with father Geoff to watch their sister Alice playing, the twins who have cerebral palsy and learning difficulties, quickly became a key part of the Nomads squad.

The twins with dad Geoff and sister Alice at one of Neston Nomads' games

Come rain or shine, the duo would be there to back the team and when they were nominated for, and went on to win the grassroots supporters of the year category, they collected the award at Wembley during the Grassroots Awards at the Community Shield last August.

"They're the glue which have brought us to where we are now,” added Lawton.

"We had girls from five different schools in our team so they didn't really know each other, but these guys with the way they are and their attitude to life, they're unbelievable.

"They broke the ice with everyone, they link the girls together and encourage the parents to come along and it's become a bit of a family unit really.

The Liverpool-supporting twins are regular supporters from the sidelines

"It's fantastic that they were recognised in this way."

Assistant coach Chris McKellar added: "They're right there with us all the time, their enthusiasm brings a good feeling to the club.

"The first thing they do, they come up, they high-five you, give you a hug.

"That’s to all the supporters, all the families, all the friends, everyone gets the same treatment from Will and James."

And with the last words coming from the boys’ sister Alice, who explains just what it means to the players on the pitch to have such support from the sidelines.

"When you play the game, they give you the confidence so that you can keep going,” she explained.

The pair visited Wembley for the 2018 FA Community Awards ahead of watching the Community Shield between Manchester City and Chelsea

"And when you're down, they're always there for you and asking you if you're ok and need anything.

"The boys have brought the team together, the girls always want to play well so at the end they get a big hug."

Do you know anyone like James and Will? Why not make your own nomination for a grassroots football hero…

By FA Staff