John Twentyman

The John Twentyman Spirit of Cumberland Football Awards Shortlist 23/24

Your chance to vote!

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the John Twentyman Spirit of Cumberland Football Awards from season 23/24.

The Awards are 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. 

They look to recognise those who have displayed, through their actions, a truly memorable sporting moment or continued commitment to positive football throughout the season. 

You can Vote for your Favourite here 

Voting closes on Friday 19th July 2024 at 5pm

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. 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. 

Your shortlist is as follows: 

Alex Murgatroyd (Warwick Wanderers) 

Alex is now the lead coach at U9 (moving to U10) for Warwick Wanderers Whites. 

At the end of last season (2022-23), it was touch and go whether the team would continue but Alex, then an assistant coach stepped up to allow the team to finish the season and prepare for the next season. 

Alex is a kind and considerate coach who wants the best for all the players. He ensures all players get 50% playing time and is very fair and is a positive role model to the players (and the parents on the sidelines). The progress of the team from the start of last season (when half the team had never played in a team before) was evident to see.

Alex gives feedback on every fixture - it is not about the winning, it is very much about the experience, and he ensures all players come off after a match with positivity and encouragement. 

Alex really is a fantastic role model for the boys, a coach who has the boys best interests at heart and wants everyone to have an opportunity to play the game they love!

Amy Hickson (Carlisle Reivers) 

Within the nomination Amy was said to be a “very important part of Carlisle Revivers”.  She is the Chair of the club and as well as overseeing all aspects of the club including the football festival, this year she also organised for over 130 people to do the Gelt Gladiator and was on hand to make sure that everybody had a good time.

Border City Greens FC 

Border City Greens are a club that was established to support players with their mental health and weight loss, travelling around the county and country playing fixtures against similar recreational teams. This season they became involved with local organisations to play several games including a game against Hilltop United FC (a team comprising of Carlisle asylum seekers and refugees). This decision was not met with universal agreement and the club did face some difficult discussions, which they faced up to and, whilst recognising and being respectful of all views, also attempted to dispel myths and stigmas attached to the group and, without turning political, recognised them as a group of people, who like themselves, had a love for football. This in turn saw a few players from Hilltop FC also representing Border City Greens FC in games.

Gay Frankland (Whitehaven AFC) 

Gay is a coach for Whitehaven AFC supporting girls teams as well as a pan disability team. 

Being a relatively new coach, Gay has embraced the support around her (attending FA CPD as well as working with other coaches at the club) and has developed her sessions to provide a positive environment for her players - whether in the girls game or the pan disability teams. 

The biggest compliment she has been given was recently when she was told that one of the girls wrote about her in school as being her role model. "Knowing you have made a positive impact on someone's life, what better reward could there possibly be?" 

Gay has also taken on the Over 35 Just Play centre to encourage more women to have a go in a fun and friendly environment. 

Gay is a fantastic role for players, but also to women across the county who may get inspiration from what Gay is doing at Whitehaven and they then believe they can get involved themselves.

Jack Musgrave and Calthwaite JFC

Jack Musgrave is a football mad teenager who supports Carlisle United and plays for Calthwaite JFC. Jack is also battling Hodgkin Lymphoma. After his heartbreaking diagnosis, both Jack and his teammates at Calthwaite have displayed such a positive outlook to what must have been such a shock to all. 

His teammates and coaches have been amazing with their support with some of them being involved in a sponsored walk around Ulswater and more recently a Charity football match., which saw Jack take his turn back on the pitch.  

Jack, who is now in remission, and his family have been a true inspiration to us all and act as another reminder that whilst we love the game, it is only the most important of the least important things, and we must keep it in perspective and cherish every moment we spend together (both on and off the field). 

Both parties truly epitomise a positive football environment.

Leon Green (Mirehouse JFC U14s) 

Leon plays for Mirehouse U14s.

Mirehouse have had a season with the usual ups and downs, but it ended with a League Cup Final at Borough Park. 

A great game of football resulted in an unexpected win for Mirehouse. 

At the final whistle there was the usual celebrations for the winning team and obviously the disappointment for the unlucky players on the losing team. 

Leon's first reaction was not to celebrate with his teammates but to run over to the opposition goalkeeper of Windscale and put his arm around his shoulders and offer words of encouragement. 

This is not the first time Leon has done something like this to opposition players which, for a young player to recognise and react to this situation in the manner he did, shows a fantastic spirit of sportsmanship.

Scotby FC

A little over a year ago Scotby FC were rocked by the devasting and shocking news that one of their players, John McKenna, had died whilst on holiday in a tragic accident. 
John was a hugely popular player and person, and his loss was felt by so many. 

The club quickly came together to support each other, as well as John's friend and most importantly his family. They set up a fundraising page to support the family, liaised with the CFA to set up a minute's applause across all grassroots football and at Carlisle United FC. The club ground and pavilion quickly turned into a memorial for John with shirts and flowers being laid there in his memory, providing a place for those grieving to attend and a place to allow them to grieve both individually and collectively. The club intend to set up a permanent memorial for John at the club's site. The main members of the club committee have continued to support John family and the players throughout what must have been a tough and emotional season for all. 

Just in seeing and in playing together they have provided much needed support to each other. They reached the semi-final of the CFA Sunday County Cup, finished third in the Premier Division of the Carlisle City Sunday League, and were runners-up in the league cup final. 

However, these performances on the pitch are far outweighed by the class, compassion, and humility that they have displayed off it.

You can Vote for your winner here