John Twentyman

The John Twentyman Spirit of Cumberland Football Awards

The winner will be announced on BBC Radio Cumbria's 7pm Tuesday Night Sports Show

As part of our continued push towards ensuring a positive football environment for all involved within the game in Cumberland, we want to celebrate those who have displayed, through their actions, a truly memorable sporting moment that you believe deserves recognition.

We therefore launched the John Twentyman Spirit of Cumberland Football Awards in memory of a true footballing man and a gentleman who epitomised fair play and the spirit of the game throughout his long and distinguished involvement within football in the county, 

All votes using this form will be counted and placed in order, with points being given depending upon where each nominee is placed (8 points for top, 7 points for 2nd etc.)  

A panel of judges including family members of John's, a CFA representative and a special guest judge will also choose their winners and again, their finalists will be placed in order and points awarded accordingly. 

The scores from both will then be combined (50-50) to help pick a winner who will receive an FA Respect Club Package, including barriers, for their respective club or organisation.

Please note that it is one vote per person and multiple votes from the same e-mail and/or IP address will be disregarded. 


The winner will be revealed on BBC Radio Cumbria's 7pm Tuesday Night Sports Show on Tuesday 5 September 2023. 

Your shortlist is as follows: 

Cumbria Football Academy 

During a game against Rochdale AFC EDS, the young referee appointed to the game collapsed on the field of play. Immediately, representatives from Cumbria Football Academy rushed to their aid and provided care and support to the match official, who after having been checked out at hospital was thankfully given the all-clear and even went on to referee a game the day after. However, the coaches, players and parents showed real respect that day.  

Denis Devlin 

Denis has for a number of years reported and promoted football in Cumberland. As a volunteer at Carlisle City, he went above and beyond to promote the club and more recently he has been working with Workington AFC. He also raised awareness of mental health issues through his popular podcast. He was diagnosed with a rare type of bowel cancer, but despite this battle he just gets on with what he loves: Cumbria and football. 

Lee Coan – Whitehaven Miners 

Lee is a dedicated and committed member of the club, spending all his spare time at the club coaching, washing kit, organising trips, and lining pitches. He is inclusive, promotes friendship and ensures that all players demonstrate positive behaviours both on and off the field of play. He is a huge reason as to why the club feels like a family and why the club is still in operation. Without people like Lee, grassroots football clubs wouldn’t be able to function and he does it all with a smile on his face. 

Lee Tedford – Carlisle Glass Longhorn League 

Lee stepped forward when no one else was looking like they were going to step forward to take on referee appointments for the Carlisle Glass Longhorn League, which had already delayed the start of the season. Despite already being a coach and a referee himself, he wanted to do this to ensure that youth football in the area continued. This speaks volumes of him as he is truly devoted to grassroots football within the area and more specifically the development of young players and referees, many of whom he has mentored personally. He is a key individual in supporting the future of the beautiful game. 

Rowan Henderson - Gillford Park JFC 

During a game when Rowan was fouled for a penalty which he would usually take, he instead decided to give the ball to a team-mate who hadn’t scored that season. Unfortunately, the player missed. However, when Rowan was fouled again, he had no hesitation in giving the ball and his support to the same team-mate, who scored. The whole team celebrated together, and this displayed an understanding of the spirit of football, way beyond the years of Rowan who was aged 10 at the time.  

Scotby and Inter Pirelli FC – Sunday Cup Final 

Following a very competitive County Sunday Cup Final, you would have expected both teams, for differing reasons, to want to get away from the facility as quickly as they could to either celebrate or commiserate. Instead, numerous members of both clubs stayed behind and ensured that their respective changing rooms were left clean and tidy. This was hugely appreciated by the volunteers at Carlisle City, who had given up their time for free and were looking at having to then clean the two changing rooms before they could leave for the day. 

Tyce Walmsley – Whitehaven AFC Juniors 

During a close U14 County Cup Final, a player from Northbank went down with cramp. Rather than take advantage of this player being down, his opposition on the day, Tyce Walmsley (Whitehaven AFC Juniors), stopped, assisted the player, and ensured that he was ok to carry on. A true sporting moment at a critical time in a Cup Final. 

Workington Reds Juniors FC 

When Whitehaven Miners Social FC were faced with major issues with their pitch becoming severely flooded, Workington Reds Junior offered them the use of their pitches at the ranch for free. This meant that the club could continue to play its games and over 180 players could continue to play the game. The club's generosity was described as ‘a memorable sporting moment’ and one that was in the ‘true spirit of grassroots football’.