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Praise was heaped upon scores of local football volunteers when they were recognised for decades of service, fair play and dedication at the Essex County FA’s annual Awards Evening on Tuesday 30th July, with Sir Trevor Brooking presenting the mementoes.
Accolades such as the FA McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards and recognition for community activities were handed out at Chelmsford City Racecourse to grassroots volunteers, whose efforts keep the game alive at the lower levels. There was also a special presentation from Leyton Orient FC’s Josh Wright on behalf of the new Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation.
The award winners were treated to fun activities, a meal, a season review video and a special ceremony supported by Hospital Radio Chelmsford to add to the prestige. Justin Edinburgh was Special Guest at the 2018 Awards Evening and donations were pledged to Hospital Radio and the JE3 Foundation on the night to support their excellent work.
The Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation hope to continue Justin's name and legacy, along with his story, to help others. The foundation are raising money through fundraising events to support a charity related to heart or brain health, as well as campaigning to change the law to ensure all health and fitness clubs across the UK are equipped with defibrillators.
Wright, who was Justin’s final signing for The O’s before his sad passing over the summer, informed the crowd and said: “We’re losing Justin and we’re losing people day in, day out because of it. We want to raise as much awareness about the JE3 Foundation as we can. We’re on social media, and every little helps. Hopefully we can save one, ten or 50-plus lives.”
To get involved in grassroots Essex football, visit www.essexfa.com. Photos from the Awards Evening can be found at www.dephoto.biz/EssexFA, plus features on the event are available by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook and @EssexCountyFA on Twitter. A full list of all Essex County FA award winners, from all categories, can be found below.