Grassroots coach of the year - Lizzie Pacey, Pride Park FC, Derbyshire FA
Lizzie is a remarkable coach, a person who continues to go above and beyond as standard. In helping to establish an SSE Wildcats centre at her club Pride Park FC, she was committed to providing regular football for girls aged 5-11. When the initiative struggled, she fought for its relevance and has made it a success. Lizzie combined this with coaching both male and female school U13 teams and will coach Pride Park’s U11 team next season having previously coached the U17s.
More important still is the example she sets. Players of different backgrounds and abilities never faze her; she has excellent relationships with all and prides herself on guiding and mentoring those who come into contact with her.
It's this combination of drive, coaching aptitude and warm personality that makes Lizzie such a role model for her peers, and such a deserving winner of this prestigious award. By being approachable, engaging, fun-loving and loyal, Lizzie has maximised her opportunity to inspire both young players and everyone fortunate enough to be coached by her.
Grassroots project of the year - Follo FC, Manchester FA
Follo FC is a unique football club formed by - and for - fathers who have suffered the loss of a child. They are entirely inclusive of all abilities and walks of life, but share a common grief and respect for one another.
Follo’s aim is to use football as part of the grieving and healing process, but also to raise awareness of mental health issues. They speak to people at matches, and use social media to create a platform for other men to get in touch and open up about their loss. It’s okay not to be okay.
Grassroots club of the year - Chadderton Park Sports Club, Manchester FA
Chadderton Park don’t just pride themselves on inclusivity; it defines the club’s entire ethos. They hold no trials, welcome players who have been told they aren’t good enough elsewhere and believe fun must come before the desire to win. That explains why they have now grown to over 90 different teams, covering children, seniors, disability squads and cerebral palsy initiatives.
A football club is more than the name suggests - it can be the heart of a community. Through charity drives, links to local schools and an inherently positive playing environment, Chadderton Park can be truly proud of making a difference.
Grassroots league of the year - Mid Lancashire Junior Football League, Lancashire FA
The Mid Lancashire Colts JFL is an inclusive and progressive league that now covers over 3,000 children across 42 clubs and 179 teams. But its excellence comes through the determination to create a positive environment in which the players can enjoy their football. That includes a partnership with Lancashire NHS to promote Smokefree Sidelines, and another with Kick It Out to promote early intervention and education on racism.
These initiatives matter. Providing children with a wholesome playing environment creates a healthy experience of football that shapes their love for the game and behaviour outside of it.
Grounds team of the year - Tony Sanders, Earls Barton United FC, Northamptonshire FA
Now in his 70s, Tony has become a pillar of the Earls Barton United community. He is responsible for some of the best prepared pitches at Step 7, covering two grounds located a mile apart. He supports every one of the club’s teams, and approaches each job with the same diligence and modesty.
But preparing the pitch only covers a fraction of his impact. From cleaning the changing rooms and putting up and taking down nets and corner flags to welcoming referees or stepping in as a linesman, Tony is the rock on which community clubs like his are built.
Grassroots match official of the year - Chad Roberts, Stourbridge & District Youth Football League, Birmingham FA
At just 19, Chad is more than simply a referee and Referee’s Support Officer but someone who prides himself on going above and beyond his duties. He understands his opportunity to help and guide others to ensure that the level of refereeing, and refereeing discourse, stays as high as possible in the Stourbridge & District Youth Football League.
Chad gives up his time to speak to referees - young and old - about any concerns they may have, set up an assistant referees’ workshop to give guidance to parents running the line and offers crucial advice to those considering taking up the role.
We Only Do Positive Respect Award - Shropshire Junior Football League, Shropshire FA
The Shropshire Junior Football League prides itself on going above and beyond, but also trailblazing. They were the first county league to have a Respect partner, the first to deliver the Rainbow Laces/Kick It Out campaign, the first to implement Respect Marshalls on match days and the first to receive a gold award in the Mayor of Shrewsbury’s awards.
The league remains committed to enhancing and maintaining the wellbeing of young people in its area and to promoting equality, inclusion and diversity across its community. They understand its potentially influential role in fostering positive attitudes and behaviour.
Grassroots supporter of the year - Thomas Woodrow, Thatcham Town Harriers, Berks & Bucks FA
When Thomas underwent surgery in August 2018, ruling him out for the entirety of 2018-19 season, it must have been an incredibly frustrating and dispiriting prospect. Yet he channelled that disappointment and truly made the best of adversity.
Not only did he attend every one of his Thatcham Town Harriers team’s matches as a supporter to cheer on his friends, he assisted the coaches in their duties as a way of making a more tangible contribution. Thomas’s perseverance to get back playing and his emotional maturity to overcome setback have earned him the respect of teammates, coaches and parents.
Grassroots volunteer of the year - James Galt, North West Disability Hub, Lancashire FA
James has an unwavering belief that disability or setback shouldn’t stop anyone from accessing football as a player, coach or supporter. Born deaf, he was 12 before he played the game but soon found inclusive clubs and initiatives that forged his love.
But rather than concentrating purely on his own enjoyment, James has shouldered the responsibility for improving access for others. He volunteers in pan disability football and disability Futsal, helping at Forton Primary School, Preston North End, Lancashire FA pan disability hub and Myerscough pan ability squad. He is a true role model to countless others.
Rising star of the year - Asha Mohamud and Ali Zaman, Really Real Organisation, Middlesex FA
Asha and Ali are two university students from West Ealing. They also have part-time jobs and look after siblings, yet found the time to create Really Real, a coaching initiative to provide free football activities for children from the estate where they grew up.
In initiatives such as Really Real, coaching is only part of the story. Asha and Ali volunteer and fundraise to provide transport, food, water and equipment for the children who attend. These are two people who, entirely off their own backs, are fighting to make a difference to the lives of others through football.
Football restaurant of the year - Thornbury McDonald's, Bradford City Disability Football Club
Thornbury McDonald’s has sponsored the Bradford City Disability Football Club for several years now, helping to promote their sessions to the wider community.
The club was set up to help parents who may be nervous about their children joining a mainstream club and after five years of sponsorship and funding has grown from just one team to over 200 members ranging from four to 63 years old.
The restaurant always does their utmost to support the club and its coaches throughout the season, from fundraising and travelling all around the UK to support them, to helping raise awareness that football is for everyone regardless of age, gender or ability.
Football mum of the year - Carla Parker, Lymm Rovers FC, Cheshire FA
Carla’s dedication to Lymm Rovers FC and the sport is exceptional. She referees four games a weekend, is a team manager for an U13 boys team, is a club secretary and club welfare officer. Add to that the role of league secretary - arranging fixtures for 150 teams - and referee secretary, guiding and appointing up to 300 referees every week.
If that wasn’t enough, Carla created and runs a league for mothers in her local area and is mum to four boys who all have football commitments. Her enthusiasm and selflessness are astonishing.
The Bobby Moore Award - Paul Rimmer, Liverpool Homeless FC, Liverpool FA
Paul was nominated for the difference he has made within Liverpool Homeless Football Club. As someone who had suffered with addiction, he wanted to volunteer not just on football matters but in the lives of the players who may suffer from the same rigours he experienced. In addition, Paul volunteered with asylum seekers and refugees within the club’s structure.
He is patient, caring and respectful of every player and every story, giving time to offer extra emotional support whenever it is required. His positive attitude doesn’t just set an example but is infectious, tangibly improving the lives of those around him.