Somerset Football Association held its annual ‘County Awards Evening’ on Thursday 11th July at Somerset County Cricket ground, Taunton.
The evening was an opportunity for Somerset FA to recognise and reward outstanding contribution and achievement to football from Leagues, Clubs and Volunteers within Somerset over the last 12 months.
With around 120 people in attendance, the evening was formally opened by Somerset FA Chairman Pete Hockley.
Awards were presented within seventeen different categories on the evening, categories were sponsored by McDonalds through The FA’s Grassroots Football Awards, and selected awards were also sponsored by Ivan & Rendall and Co Accountants.
Special guests on the evening included a number of FA staff and Somerset FA’s Board of Directors.
The first two awards were for Grassroots Coach of the Year and Grassroots League of the Year. Winners in each category were Natasha Paphitis from Weston Mendip FC & The Weston-super-Mare & District League.
The Grassroots Club of the Year Award was won by Brislington Juniors, whilst the Taunton & District Youth League won the “We Only Do Positive” Respect Award.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Ron Hodgson from Ilchester FC for his outstanding work and commitment and Grounds Team of the Year went to Nic Collier of Winscombe FC.
Grassroots Match Official of the Year went to Craig Board from Chard for his dedication and services to all aspects of refereeing in the county.
Young Referee of the Year (sponsored by Ivan Rendall & Co) went to two people: Dylan Baylis and Tia Collard, both from Weston-super-Mare. While Brian Baker from Frome was awarded the prestigious Keith Buller Outstanding Contribution to Refereeing Award.
SSE Wildcats Centre of the Year went to South Bristol Sports Centre, while Secretary of the Year (sponsored by Ivan Rendall & Co) went to Peter Craske from Yatton & Cleeve Utd FC.
Disability Club of the Year (Sponsored by Ivan Rendall & Co) went to Wellington Disability FC. Mike Alden of Park Knowle FC won Disability Volunteer of the Year.
The grassroots recognition award went to four individuals: Ian Harley, Mark Vickers and Ian Smith (Referee Appointment Officers in Yeovil, Taunton and Weston-super-Mare respectively) and Alan Gould of Purnells FC.
FA 40 Year Services were presented to Bob Moore from Yatton, Alan Cumner from Weston-super-Mare, Dave Brammer from Banwell and David Madgett from Shepton Mallet.
The Lester Clements Representative Players of the Year Awards went to Archie Harding (Bath City FC) and Emily Jones (Purnells FC).
Rob Hooper (Weston-super-Mare & District League), Jerry Colbourne (Westfield FC), Julie Bowker (Bishops Lydeard FC) and Graham Clarke (Somerset Schools FA & Somerset FA) were all awarded the Services to Football award for their huge contribution to local football over the years.
The evening was closed by Somerset FA Director of Football Development – Bob Hemburrow.
Somerset FA Chief Executive Jon Pike said: "I would like to congratulate all of the winners on their thoroughly deserved awards.
"One of the most pleasurable part of working for Somerset FA is being able to recognise and reward volunteers in the grassroots game in the county. I am delighted that tonight we have acknowledged their amazing efforts for football and congratulate them on their achievement. Every year the standard of our winners seems to get higher, which in itself is a great testament to our grassroots volunteer workforce.
"Those volunteers, who give of their time and effort freely, are the greatest strength of the game in Somerset. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented group, and that doesn’t just include those we have recognised tonight, but ALL of our volunteers across the county. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of them all for they do.
"I would also like to thank McDonalds for their support of the National Awards and to Ivan Rendall & Co Accountants for their support of our county awards; along with our other partners, their continued support of Grassroots football is greatly appreciated”
Pictures were taken of all winners throughout the evening and can be found on our Flickr account