The FA And McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards Are For People Who Make A Positive Difference and Cumberland FA are delighted to confirm the local winners for 2019-20.
In a season which was cut short, The FA and McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards are our way to celebrate the fantastic individuals who put their heart and soul into the grassroots game across England. It’s also an opportunity to say a huge thank you to the incredible volunteers who inspire us all.
The FA And McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2020 brought a fantastic response from the grassroots football community with more nominations received than last season; with the nominees shortlisted and the local winners decided by the Cumberland FA Awards Panel.
Ben Snowdon, Cumberland FA CEO commented “All of those nominated showcased the amazing work that goes on within Cumberland and I would personally like to thank all of those who took their time to nominate individuals, projects and clubs, as well as all of those who were nominated.
As grassroots football starts to take its first tentative steps back following its suspension in March, these awards have reminded us all as to how important the game can be within local communities.
Those who were shortlisted and subsequently chosen as our award winners epitomise this spirit as they have all demonstrated a selflessness in the work that they carry out within their specific areas of the county.
The fact that others have made a concerted effort to nominate them for an award further demonstrates that their exertions have not only had an undisputable impact on the people and the groups they support but have made a real difference to a game they so clearly love.
On behalf of all at Cumberland FA I would like to congratulate all of the award winners and look forward to continuing to work with them to develop the game.”
Grassroots Club Of The Year – Dalston Junior Black Reds
The FA Charter Standard Club sits at the heart of the community, with local businesses providing support to the dedicated volunteers and players, uniting everyone involved in a fun atmosphere of respect, inclusivity and excellence.
The Club provides football opportunities in the Carlisle Glass Longhorn Youth Football League from Under 7s to Under 16s.
The passion and dedication of the coaches, behind the scenes volunteers and sponsors supports the club to provide playing opportunities for hundreds of local children.
Glenn Murray, striker for Brighton and Hove Albion FC in the Premier League announced this Award across Cumberland FA’s social media channels.
Grassroots Coach For Youth Of The Year – Craig Bristoe (Whitehaven AFC)
Craig began his volunteer coaching journey a number of years ago with Whitehaven AFC’s Under 6s when no other parent stepped forward to take the team on. He has provided opportunities for so many youngsters to play grassroots football who may not have otherwise been given the chance.
As a founder member of the Whitehaven AFC Pan Disability section, Craig has supported the Club and the brand-new Youth Ability Counts fixture programme county wide to provide regular training and playing opportunities.
Craig’s commitment to grassroots football across the board makes him stand out. He will help where ever he can, and his commitment to any Club or FA initiative is exemplary, from the Club Philosophy, FA Respect Campaign and supporting young referees. His willingness to attend relevant CPD and communicate the England DNA messages further assists him with his own development.
Craig has been described as "selfless, never wanting praise or promoting himself and with both a passion for football but more importantly what is right".
Craig has taken Whitehaven Amateur FC on his football journey, setting an example of how grassroots football can have such a positive effect on so many people.
England Under 19 Head Coach Paul Simpson announced this Award across Cumberland FA’s social media channels.
Grassroots Coach For Adults Of The Year – Simon Savage (Penrith AFC)
Simon set up the Penrith AFC Women’s team in 2000 and has developed the female structure at the club for over 20 years. Simon, alongside his wife Kath, have given up endless hours of volunteering to offer local women and girls from Cumbria a safe and fun environment to play football.
The Club, now with a full female player pathway has welcomed hundreds of players since 2000. The sustainability and standard of football the club offers is thanks to the commitment level Simon has embedded into the club from day one.
Manchester City FC and England International Jill Scott announced this Award across Cumberland FA’s social media channels.
Grassroots Project Of The Year – Barry Hoggarth
Barry is the author of The Cumberland Senior Cup 1886 – 2019
Barry began researching the history of football in Cumberland in 2009.
This book has had a big impact on local grassroots clubs, players and match officials as it collates the history of this famous competition, also known as the Cumberland Cup. It is full of interesting facts and stories that have happened along the way and is graced with lots of team photos. With much of the information deep in the archives of libraries, without Barry’s dedication the history of the competition would be lost.
The level of research and dedication that Barry Hoggarth has put into writing his fantastic book on the history of The Cumberland Senior Cup 1886 to 2019 has been impressive.
Manchester City FC and former England International Scott Carson announced this Award across Cumberland FA’s social media channels.
Grounds Team Of The Year – Terry Smith (Mirehouse AFC)
Terry has been involved at Mirehouse AFC in almost every capacity. Most recently he has taken on the role of head groundsman and works tirelessly in maintaining and developing the playing surface and surrounding facilities to keep the environment safe, week in, week out. During this time, he has engaged with the local communities and has taken a number of young people into the club to support them as apprentices, providing them with training and support.
Terry’s passion is clear and unquestionable for the grassroots game and particularly Mirehouse AFC. Terry has fundraised and personally supported the purchase of kit and equipment over the years to support the maintenance of the pitch. This recognition is a small accolade compared to the amount of time that Terry has given to the grassroots game over countless seasons.
The pitch at Mirehouse AFC is in excellent condition and with the quality of the pitch the number of games postponed at the venue has dramatically reduced as well as becoming an annual venue for local finals.
Chris Beech, Carlisle United FC Manager announced this Award across Cumberland FA’s social media channels.
Grassroots Match Official Of The Year – Tony Whitfield
Tony has been refereeing since 2014 and throughout this time he has worked across a number of leagues and across all age groups, as he has striven to improve himself as a match official.
As a volunteer referee appointments officer, Tony ensures appointments are made with the development of referees at the forefront of all decisions, he is also a Cumberland FA Referee Mentor.
Tony is one of the most active referees across the county, officiating games at every opportunity. He is popular with his peers and the clubs he officiates due to his game management and personality.
Tony is always the first person to volunteer for anything. This is one of the things that sets him apart, the fact that his motivation appears to be the betterment of referees and the game, and he does it all with a smile on his face.
Premier League Referee David Coote announced this Award across Cumberland FA’s social media channels.
Rising Star Of The Year – Cameron Meighan
Cameron has committed his time to coaching and refereeing from a young age. He has developed a keen eye for football and has volunteered with his local club Cockermouth Juniors. Cameron coaches and referees in youth football and has dedicated a lot of his time to his own development while making a real contribution to football in the community.
Cameron has stepped forward and created an environment where young players thrive. He has ensured the players leave having had an excellent experience within football. His personality has allowed players to grow while his understanding of how players learn has made him an excellent role model for all coaches to view.
Cameron is a unique individual making huge commitments to the game. Cam is definitely got the potential to go a long way.
Director of Football at Carlisle United FC, David Holdsworth announced this Award across Cumberland FA’s social media channels.
Volunteer Of The Year – Nichola and David Branney (Windscale AFC)
Through the time and effort they commit each week, they’ve enabled a club to excel from having only two senior teams; to two senior teams, a disability team and 7 junior teams, and the Club continues to grow.
Nichola and David never ask for anything in return or complain about the amount of voluntary work they put in for the local community. Between them, they act as Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Safeguarding Officer, Groundsman and Bus Driver. Their effectiveness often goes unnoticed, giving up a considerable amount of their own time to go above and beyond for Windscale AFC.
Without them, a 70-year-old FA Chartered Standard Club would not function, and more than 100 local children and adults would be looking further afield for a place to not only play the game, but do so at a place with some of the greatest facilities in the county.
In addition, they’re both actively involved in fundraising for local charities and have helped to raise over £500 for NHS charities in the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Grant Holt, former professional footballer announced this Award across Cumberland FA’s social media channels.
Unfortunately there will be no Cumberland FA Awards Dinner this year, the County FA will soon confirm the next steps so the local winners receive their prizes and their nominations will go forward for judging in the national awards.
The quality of the nominations was so great, that there were a number of nominees shortlisted who we feel deserve recognition for their work and dedication in the grassroots game and have been given a Highly Commended Award.
Congratulations and Thank You To The Nominees Who Were Given The Highly Commended Award:
Volunteer of the Year
• Eddie Nichols (Whitehaven AFC)
• Joseph Moore (Whitehaven Miners)
• Iain Carruthers (Abbeytown)
• Stephanie Bateson (Northbank JFC)
• Steven Pattison (Carlisle Glass Longhorn Youth Football League)
• David Wise (St Joseph’s Walking Football)
• Neil ‘Ashy’ McKeating (Workington & District Sunday League/Workington AFC/Senhouse Street FC)
Grassroots Club Of The Year
• Gillford Park JFC
• Whitehaven AFC
• Creighton Rangers Veterans FC
• AFC Carlisle
• Carlisle Futsal Club
Grassroots Coach For Youth Of The Year
• Neil Dickinson - Dalston Junior Black Reds
• Chris Reay - Seaton Juniors FC
• Stacey Eland - Allerdale Girls FC
• Gareth Agnew - Cleator Moor Celtic
Grassroots Coach For Adults Of The Year
• Andy Lomas - St Bees Athletic
• Paul Allen - Carlisle Reivers Pan Disability
• Karl Skillen - Maryport Athletic
Grassroots Project Of The Year
• The Cumberland Youth Ability Counts
• Allerdale Wildcats
Grassroots Match Official Of The Year
• Poppy Scholefield
• Dan Reed
• Scott Henry
• Ross Mattinson
• Thomas Linford
Grounds Team Of The Year
• Tom Banks (Kirkoswald FC)
• Darren Graham (Abbeytown)
• Brian Fidler (Calthwaite FC)
• Dan Ross
Rising Star Of The Year
• Aimee Birch (Crusaders FC)
• Matthew Rogerson (Referee)
• Seamus Edwards (Referee)