Groundsman marking a football pitch

2019 Groundsman of the Year - Winner Announced!

Yesterday it was announced that Roger Kerry of Sleetmoor United FC has been voted as 2019’s groundsman of the year in Derbyshire.

Yesterday it was announced that Roger Kerry of Sleetmoor United FC has been voted as 2019’s groundsman of the year in Derbyshire.

After receiving nominations from clubs across the county during January and February, a panel from Derbyshire CFA in partnership with Rigby Taylor Ltd were able to identify their top three groundsmen of the year, including winner Mr Kerry, to submit to The FA for independent judging as part of their national awards.

A reward voucher will be provided to each of the winners and their respective clubs to put towards the upkeep of their grounds, the details of which are listed below.

  • Honourable Mention – Des Mitchell (Ilkeston Juniors FC)
    • Prize: N/A
  • Third Place – Kevin Harlow (Hilton Harriers FC)
    •  Prize: Grass Seed and Line Marker Paint (worth £200)
  • Second Place – Lee Watson (Clay Cross Town FC)
    • Prize: Fertiliser and Line Marker Paint (worth £300)
  •  First Place – Roger Kerry (Sleetmoor United FC)
    • Prize: Fertiliser, Grass Seed, and Line Marker Paint (worth £500)

The DCFA would like to take this moment to commend groundsmen across the county for all of the great work that they do on a daily basis.

The nominations for the awards were open to clubs from Step 7 and below, and they represent a great opportunity to recognise and reward club groundsmen who dedicate endless hours to improve grass pitches in Derbyshire.

Following the receipt of nominations, a panel from the DCFA, in partnership with Rigby Taylor Ltd, selected their top three nominations to submit to The Football Association.

The FA judges will now score the top groundsmen from across the whole country based on their individual contribution and ambition to improve their club’s pitches.

Liam Rooney, Head of Development and Facilities at the Derbyshire County FA, said: “I am absolutely delighted as we had another fantastic response to this year’s Groundsman of the Year Awards, and I would like to congratulate our three very worthy winners on their awards.

The three groundsmen will also be invited to the DCFA’s annual Grassroots Football Awards evening in September, to share their success with other grassroots football volunteers from across the county.”

“I would also like to thank Mark Robinson from Rigby Taylor Ltd for supporting our county awards this year, and will continue to provide ongoing support for our groundsmen across Derbyshire.

Mark Robinson, a representative of Rigby Taylor, added: “I was privileged to meet the groundsmen from all three clubs and I genuinely wish I could give them all some reward, as it was clear to see the amount of hours and dedication they give to ensure the pitches are in fantastic condition.

“We will continue to support and enjoy the DCFA Pitch Improvement Programme workshop, as we have for the last four years, and help educate the many willing volunteers.”

“Rigby Taylor is proud to be able to sponsor the DCFA Groundsman of the Year award for the next three years, and we look forward to working with the county’s groundsmen, and assisting in pitch improvement.”

Rigby Taylor is the market leader in supplying professional turf-care products in the industry, and will celebrate their 100th Year in 2019.

Rigby Taylor is delighted to have signed a partnership with the DCFA to help improve the playability and quality of sports surfaces at all levels within the county.  

Mark Robinson, Rigby Taylor’s area representative, has 34 years’ experience within the industry - including 22 years as a professional groundsman.

For any product advice, or to arrange a site visit, he can be contacted at 07795 433261 or

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