Derbyshire Grassroots Heroes Recognised at DCFA Awards Night

The 2017 edition of Derbyshire County FA’s Awards Night was successfully held at the suitably named Derbyshire Hotel, where 20 awards were handed out to volunteers from around the county to celebrate their incredible work over the past 12 months.

The Derbyshire County FA Awards Night brings the county together to celebrate everything that has been achieved over the season across a variety of areas, rewarding those grassroots volunteers that the game could not do without, but who often go unheard.

The 2017 instalment took place on Friday 28th July, with John Collins returning as our compere, as we played host to a room full of incredible individuals, including Paralympian Sam Ruddock.

The night started with a bit of reflection as the DCFA Season Highlights video displayed some of the work the county has achieved, with notable highlights such as the creation of the Derby Futsal League, Wildcats Clubs and High Peak Junior Football League all being included.

Soon after, the award winners were announced, following an introduction video to the individual or club involved. There were a couple of unique awards this year, with The BAME Referees Project, collected by Genie Hayer, becoming the first winners of the Best Inclusive Project Award.

There was also a surprise in store for Mark Frost, Ilkeston Juniors & Ladies FC Chairman, who actually thought he was there to present an award to a colleague but instead, picked up the DCFA Volunteer of the Year Award himself.

Another notable winner on the night was Ben Mills of Glossop North End AFC Juniors, who not only won the DCFA Award and Regional Award, but also the National FA Coach of the Year Award!

Ben stated, “I was asked on stage how many people will ever be able to say they are a National Winner, I guess at that stage my awards for Derbyshire FA, the Region and National Coach of the Year sunk in. I would like to thank everyone at Derbyshire FA for getting me to this.

“Their support for Glossop North End Juniors, mentoring programmes, investment in coach development has helped me achieve this and I am proud to represent Derbyshire FA. The awards evening was brilliant and I was honoured to be presented the award in front of so many people dedicated to junior football in the region, they are all heroes.”

The complete list of award winners can be found below:

Freddie Lamb - DCFA Disability Player of the Year

Matt Tyne - DCFA Disability Coach of the Year

DSActive - DCFA Disability Programme of the Year

Chesterfield Town U12’s and West Hallam U7 Rockets - Respect Teams of the Year

Harry Jones - Young Referee of the Year

Jerome Fields - Grassroots Referee of the Year

Danny Middleton & James Oldham - Senior Referees of the Year

Lee Shinfield - Groundsman of the Year

Derby City Football League - FA Charter Standard League of the Year

Barlborough Juniors FC - FA Charter Standard Club of the Year

Chesterfield Junior Blues FC - FA Charter Standard Development Club of the Year

Glossop North End AFC - FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year

Sam James - FA Young Volunteer of the Year

Ben Mills - FA Coach of the Year

The BAME Referees Project - Best Inclusive Project Award

Alan Dawson - Outstanding Contribution to Community Football

Mark Frost - DCFA Volunteer of the Year

Ralph Morton - Long Service Award

Dawn Heron, DCFA CEO, said "The Annual Awards evening is a testament to the volunteers within football who help the County FA and motivate others to take part in the game we are all passionate about. To see the winners accepting their awards and sharing their stories with others from around the county was inspirational."

The event was wrapped up by DCFA Chairman Dave Heron, who gave a heartfelt thank you to everyone for their hard work in making the grassroots game in Derbyshire possible.

Derbyshire County FA would like to congratulate all of the winners and would like to extend their thanks to McDonald’s, 3aaa, Halliday Lighting, Replay Maintenance, Phoenix Sporting Goods and The Derbyshire Hotel for their help and support which made it possible to host the event.

If you would like to see some of the content from the night, the introductory videos will be uploaded to our YouTube channel over the next couple of weeks. You can also search #DCFAAwards17 on Twitter to see the coverage of the event.