all award winners

Staffordshire FA Thanks All Grassroots Football Award Winners

The Grassroots Football Awards are here to say thank you to all the people who dedicate their time to make football happen.

Staffordshire Football Association Thanks All Grassroots Football Award Winners

The Grassroots Football Awards are here to say thank you to all the people who dedicate their time to make football happen.

These awards celebrate our incredible volunteers who give so much, week in and week out, regardless of the weather. They acknowledge the parents, coaches, clubs, leagues, fellow volunteers, match officials, and more who ensure the sport thrives in our communities.

Nominations for the 12 categories opened back in April, and all Staffordshire winners were chosen by an independent panel. This year's winners have demonstrated exceptional commitment and impact in their respective roles, making a significant difference in grassroots football. We are proud to highlight their contributions and celebrate their achievements.

2024 Winners

Club of the Year - AFC Fradley
AFC Fradley, founded in May 2022, has quickly established itself as a cornerstone of the community, making football accessible to all. In less than two years, the club boasts 67 dedicated volunteer coaches and 226 registered footballers across 19 teams. Their initiatives are inclusive, with offerings like the Soccer Camp for 4-7-year-olds, the Comets session for disability footballers, and Weetabix Wildcats for young girls, each attracting dozens of participants weekly. A standout initiative is their focused campaign to increase female participation, with 15 new sign-ups in just two weeks. Their men's and women's teams are also thriving, with 57 and 25 players respectively. The club's commitment to inclusivity is further demonstrated through partnerships with two special education needs schools and their participation in the Staffordshire Ability Counts Youth League. They have also introduced futsal, engaging 41 footballers weekly. With over 350 active players every week, AFC Fradley's rapid growth and innovative programmes have made a significant impact on the local football scene.

League of the Year - Coors Sunday Football League
The Coors Sunday Football League has shown exceptional growth and commitment to developing grassroots football. With 70 teams across 7 divisions, the league has not only expanded but also significantly enhanced the support and development of its clubs. This season, the league focused on accreditation, reinvesting funds to help teams secure qualified first aiders and rewarding clubs with match balls upon achieving accreditation. They appointed a League Accreditation Officer to assist clubs in completing their Club Development Plans, aiming to attain League Accreditation themselves. As a result, the number of accredited teams more than doubled from 20 to 43, surpassing the 60% requirement for league accreditation.

Match Official of the Year - Melvin Clewlow
Melvin Clewlow has distinguished himself not only as an exemplary referee but also as a mentor to young officials. His promotion this season is a testament to his dedication. Melvin's approach to officiating is unique; he commands respect through clear communication, explaining his decisions to players, which raises a better understanding and appreciation of the game. His mentorship extends beyond the pitch, as he actively supports young referees, helping them develop their skills and confidence. Melvin's impact is profound; his encouragement and guidance have contributed to the enjoyment and development of hundreds of young footballers. He also plays a crucial role in organising officials for Sunday games in Newcastle, ensuring that matches can go ahead smoothly. Additionally, Melvin's involvement in local clubs and charitable activities, such as fundraising for Cardiac Risk in the Young and officiating in the local academy system, showcases his commitment to the community. 

Young Volunteer of the Year - Connor Wheeler
Connor Wheeler's journey from participant to volunteer coach at Burton Albion's Pan Disability sessions is a testament to his growth. Known for his warm and humorous nature, Connor has become a beloved figure among the young players, always engaging with a smile and a guiding hand. His firsthand experience as a participant allows him to relate to the children and build strong rapport with them and their parents. Connor's patience and approachability are particularly notable; he effectively manages the diverse needs of the players, diffusing any situations with calmness and understanding. His eagerness to learn from senior coaches increases his effectiveness, making him a positive role model for the young athletes. 

New Volunteer of the Year - Dan Butler
Dan Butler’s rapid and impactful integration into grassroots football in Staffordshire, particularly with Foley Meir FC, is commendable. Despite a challenging start, including an injury on his first match day, Dan’s enthusiasm has never wavered. He took on a crucial role within the club, supporting match day preparations and developing a performance analysis package for the first team management. This innovative approach has significantly enhanced the team's on-field decisions. Beyond match analysis, Dan actively pursues fundraising opportunities, demonstrating his promise to the club’s growth and sustainability. 

Grounds Team of the Year - Hawkins Sports Juniors
Hawkins Sports Juniors’ grounds team, led by Chris Burton, shows huge dedication. His meticulous preparation for charity games and the annual football tournament, involving 96 teams and nearly a thousand players, exemplifies his commitment. For two decades, he has ensured smooth operations by setting up pitches, goals, respect barriers, and marquees. During the off-season, Chris spends countless hours renovating pitches, ensuring they are in top condition for the new season. His unseen efforts, such as maintaining changing rooms, toilets, and other facilities, significantly enhance the club’s environment. Every Saturday, he welcomes parents and children to the soccer school, setting up the grounds for weekend games.

Keeping Football Positive Award - Emma Clapham
Emma Clapham’s multifaceted role at Stafford Town illustrates her dedication to promoting a positive and inclusive football environment. As the club’s Safeguarding Officer, Inclusion Champion, Autism Advocate, and Period Poverty Champion, Emma is the cornerstone of the club’s support system. Her commitment to inclusion is evident in her efforts to promote football for all, ensuring the club is autism-aware and actively supporting local groups. Emma’s leadership in making the club a Period Poverty Champion highlights her commitment to addressing important social issues. Her positive attitude and willingness to help with any issue make her an invaluable asset to the club. Emma’s close collaboration with various sections of the club, including disability football, underscores her approach to support and inclusion.

Coach of the Year Female Pathway - Beverley Clarke
Beverley Clarke’s passion for football and dedication to her players make her an outstanding choice for Coach of the Year in the Female Pathway. Bev’s enthusiasm and commitment shine through in her coaching, where she consistently implements the latest ideas and concepts to benefit her players. Bev’s role as a community champion, supporting other female coaches, further underscores her leadership and commitment to the sport. Her sessions are known for their fun and engaging nature, receiving exceptional feedback from both players and parents. Bev’s ability to inspire and connect with the children she coaches is unparalleled, making her a beacon of positivity in grassroots football.

Coach of the Year Disability Pathway - Callum Huckfield
Callum Huckfield has made an indelible mark on the lives of young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) through his coaching. Each week, he coaches over 40 young individuals, across four teams, who compete in the Staffordshire Ability Counts League. His approach is both inclusive and adaptive, ensuring that every player, regardless of ability, can participate and enjoy the game. Callum’s training sessions are not just about football; they focus on developing wider skills such as teamwork, communication, and resilience. His innovative methods have kept participants engaged and passionate about the sport, with many continuing from the age of 11 into their late teens.

Coach of the Year Male Pathway - Dan Dawson
Dan Dawson has had a remarkable journey as the first-team manager of Redgate Clayton FC, a club celebrating its 50th anniversary. Dan's leadership has been instrumental in the club’s recent success. Under his guidance, the team went undefeated in their league campaign whilst reaching the final of the Staffordshire Senior Challenge Vase. Dan's influence extends beyond match days. He is deeply committed to youth development, actively promoting and integrating young players into the first team, many of whom have advanced to higher levels of football. His dedication to the club is evident in the countless hours he spends behind the scenes, ensuring the team’s best chances of success. Dan's commitment over the past five years, coupled with his impressive record this season, showcases his talent as a coach. Dan leaves behind a legacy of excellence, making him a worthy recipient of the Coach of the Year Male Pathway award.

The Lioness Award - Margaret Bartley
Margaret Bartley is the heart and soul of Milton FC, handling a multitude of responsibilities that keep the club running smoothly. From managing England Accreditation paperwork and organising fixtures for 52 teams to running the club bar and cooking for the first and development teams, Margaret's contributions are endless. She dedicates her weekends, from early mornings to late evenings, ensuring that everything operates seamlessly. Her commitment goes beyond the usual duties. She organises maintenance days, coordinates pitch allocations, and manages fundraising efforts, ensuring the financial stability and operational readiness of the club. Even through personal health challenges, Margaret’s dedication remains unwavering. Her efforts in securing sponsorships and organising community events like charity matches demonstrate her passion for the club and the local community.

Bobby Moore Award - Peter Clewer
Peter Clewer has been a cornerstone of grassroots football in Uttoxeter for over 50 years. His extensive involvement spans from playing in the Uttoxeter & District Sunday League (UDSL) to managing Sunday league teams and serving as chairman of Uttoxeter Town FC. Peter's dedication to the club is evident in the myriad of tasks he handles, from taking kits to the laundry and cleaning changing rooms to supporting the club’s operations and engaging with the community. Peter’s commitment goes beyond administrative duties; he is a mentor and a champion for the club. He ensures that everything runs smoothly and that the club’s needs are met, providing support to players and management alike. His wife’s involvement in providing food for committee members further highlights their shared dedication to the club.