Grassroots Award Winners Receive Hospitality Treatment

Staffordshire FA Grassroots Football Award winners come together to celebrate their respective achievements at Stoke City’s pre-season friendly fixture against Leicester City.

On Saturday 27 July, Staffordshire FA invited all of the recent winners of the 2018/19 Season Grassroots Football Awards to some pre-match hospitality at the bet365 Stadium ahead of Stoke City’s pre-season friendly against Leicester City.

The award winners also had the pleasure of going pitch side at half-time for a group photograph, whilst receiving a warm ovation from both sets of supporters.

Over recent weeks Staffordshire FA has been presenting it’s 2018/19 FA Grassroots Football Awards, to individuals and organisations across Staffordshire who dedicate huge amounts of time and energy to make grassroots football in Staffordshire the best it can possibly be. A total of 13 awards have been presented – below is a breakdown and summary of those awards. 

Grassroots Club of the Year – Stoke Town FC
Stoke Town FC was named Grassroots Club of the Year at a recent Coors League meeting. They are a pro-active adult club, linked to a junior section in their local area, and have also collaborated with the North Staffs Mind Charity, significantly raising the profile of important mental health issues. 

Grassroots Coach of the Year – Mike Mycroft
Mike fought off some tough competition to be named Grassroots Coach of the Year in recognition for his outstanding commitment to developing the boys and girls at Lane Head FC.

Grassroots Coach Mentoring Award – Paul Clowes
Paul won this award for his extensive support to grassroots coaches in the county, having been an FA Coach Mentor for five years. He has worked with a number of clubs across Staffordshire Moorlands and Stoke-on-Trent, whilst continuing to support teams at Leek Town FC for the past eight years.

Grassroots Community Project of the Year – Black Country Fusion FC
Black Country Fusion FC continues to promote inclusion throughout the game by providing an LGBTQ+ friendly environment and ensuring that football is For All in their local community. 

Grassroots Grounds Team of the Year – Andy Salt
Having dedicated huge amounts of time over the past few seasons to Trubshaw Cross, Andy and his team of fellow volunteers have worked incredibly hard to improve the 10-pitch site in Burslem. 

Grassroots League of the Year – Walsall Junior Youth League
Year on year the WJYL has continued to grow and now caters for over 5,000 players and hundreds of volunteers, ensuring the opportunity for children of all ages in the local area to play football is there.

Grassroots Match Official of the Year – Andy Martin
Andy has been instrumental in the success of a number of recreational football projects, in addition to providing excellent mentoring support to new officials throughout the county.

Grassroots Respect Project of the Year – Cheadle South Moorlands United FC
Cheadle South Moorlands United FC have developed a fantastically innovative idea to support the FA Respect programme and raise awareness of important respect issues within the club.

Grassroots Rising Star of the Year – George Taylor
As well as progressing as a young referee, George has supported Staffordshire FA on a number of projects in recent months and has been an absolute pleasure to work with.

Grassroots Supporter of the Year – Frank Heseltine
Frank, a Bilston Town FC supporter, is well known across West Midlands’ non-league football. Not only is he hugely dedicated to the Bilston club (and other local football clubs), but his eye-catching homemade outfits also regularly catch the eye. 

Grassroots Volunteer of the Year – Barry Smith
This year’s Volunteer of the Year Award was handed to Barry Smith, due to his incredible dedication to Rocester FC. He has been involved with the club over many decades and dedicates a huge amount of his time to grassroots football.

Lifetime Achievement Award (Outstanding Contribution to Community Football) – David Vale
David has spent many years contributing to grassroots football in Staffordshire. He’s been involved for over 40 years and has become a cornerstone of the Walsall Junior Youth League. 

Lifetime Achievement Award (Services to Coach Education) – Jeff Vernall
Jeff was given his award after delivering over 20 years of coach education, positively impacting on thousands of grassroots football coaches across Staffordshire and neighbouring counties. 

Staffordshire FA Chief Executive Officer, Adam Evans: “These annual awards aim to recognise the fantastic work that is carried out by thousands of volunteers, who are out on the side-lines week in week out, come rain or shine, giving up their time so that others can play the game that we all love. All of the team at Staffordshire FA are continually humbled by the dedication, passion and enthusiasm of our grassroots volunteers, who are the backbone to the game and without whom it simply could not function in the way that it does.” 

“Many congratulations to everyone involved in the recent presentations and a huge thank you from Staffordshire FA – not just to this year’s award winners, but to the thousands of volunteers across the county who are the heartbeat of grassroots football in Staffordshire.”