Norfolk FA recognises its volunteers at awards evening
- Credit: Archant
Some of the volunteers within Norfolk football have been rewarded for their efforts at Norfolk County FA's annual Volunteers' Awards Evening.
After weeks of nominations and short-listing, the event saw a host of awards presented to deserving individuals, clubs and leagues whose tireless work ensures football is played each weekend around the county.
Amongst the accolades were the Norfolk FA Long Service awards, the FA Groundsman of the Year Award, Safeguarding Volunteer of the Year award and the FA & McDonald's Grassroots Football awards for the 2018/19 season.
Special guests invited to mark the occasion and take part in Q&As as well as to present awards were Premier League referee Kevin Friend, three-time Paralympian and England's all-time leading goal scorer, David Clarke, and former Norfolk U18s captain turned professional Norwich City player, Billy Johnson.
Former Lioness Rachel Unitt was also scheduled to attend to discuss the rising popularity of the women's game, but unfortunately had to withdraw due to illness.
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Norfolk FA chairman Michael Banham commented on the success of the evening, which saw almost 200 people in attendance, and the importance of recognising such outstanding commitment to grassroots football.
"Once again our annual Volunteers' Awards evening was a brilliant occasion in which we were able to recognise and reward the fantastic volunteer workforce we have in Norfolk," he said.
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"We hosted the evening at The Space, Norwich for the first time and I'm sure all would agree that the venue was superb.
"I would like to thank all involved for making the evening such a success, especially our guest speakers, Billy Johnson, Kevin Friend and David Clarke and I would also like to place on record my thanks to Chaplin Farrant for once again supporting the evening and the rewarding of our volunteers."
Grassroots League of the Year - The Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League
Respect Award - We Only Do Positive - The Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League
Grounds Team of the Year - Nicky Wood & Neil Coop (North Walsham Town FC)
Rising Star of the Year - Matt Friend
Match Official of the Year - Karl Smith
Grassroots Project of the Year (Highly Commended) - Norfolk Women's & Girls' League (Mental Health Awareness)
Grassroots of the Year (Highly Commended) - Woodton United FC (LGBT Inclusivity)
Grassroots Project of the Year - Match of the Dads
Supporter of the Year - Darrell Allen
Grassroots Club of the Year - Tasburgh FC
Volunteer of the Year (Highly Commended) - Ray Ewart (Swaffham Town FC)
Volunteer of the Year - Nathan Pauling (Taverham FC)
Coach of the Year - Jason White (Costessey Sports FC)
The Peter Smith Groundsman of the Year Award
FA Groundsman of the Year (Norfolk) - Steve Finch (Wells Town FC)
The Norfolk FA Long Service Awards
10 Years' Service as a Club Officer - David Todd (Earsham FC)
15 Years' Service as a Club Officer - Mark Jeffries (Homecare United FC)
25 Years' Service as a Club Officer - Simon Bell (Bridgham United FC)
10 Years' Service as a League Officer - Darren Iles (Norfolk Combined Youth League)
15 Years' Service as a League Officer - Michael Mills (Norfolk Combined Youth League)
15 Years' Service as a League Officer - James Harris (Norfolk Combined Youth League)
15 Years' Service as a League Officer - Mel Perkins (Norfolk Combined Youth League)
15 Years' Service as a League Officer - Ann Hayek (Norfolk Combined Youth League)
15 Years' Service as a League Officer - Paul Emblem (Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League)
25 Years' Service as a League Officer - John Watson (The Anglian Combination League)
15 Years' Service to the Norfolk County FA Council - John Day
The Norfolk FA Safeguarding Volunteer of the Year Award - Amanda Sheehy (Horsford FC)
Norfolk County FA Volunteers' Awards Evening: Winners