Awards Evening

Essex Football Volunteers Recognised at Awards Evening

Grassroots Game Under the Spotlight at Annual Event

Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Justin Edinburgh paid tribute to scores of local football volunteers as they were recognised for decades of service, fair play and dedication at the Essex County FA’s annual Awards Evening on Tuesday (31st July).

Accolades such as the FA McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards and mementoes for community activities were handed out at Chelmsford City Racecourse to members of the grassroots community, whose efforts keep the game alive at the lower levels. They were treated to fun activities, a meal and a special ceremony supported by Hospital Radio Chelmsford to add to the prestige.

Basildon-born Edinburgh started playing in Essex for Beech United in the Thundermite Youth League before being spotted by Southend United, who were managed, at that time, by Bobby Moore. He progressed from the Shrimpers’ First Team on to Spurs under Terry Venables then spent ten years at White Hart Lane, winning FA Cup silverware along the way.

He later joined Billericay Town as Player-Manager and, before taking part in a ‘Question & Answer’ session, he said: “I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in football for 32 years now. I’ve been very privileged to have played and managed at a very high level with some fantastic football players and some young, hungry talents who have gone on to be successful.”

“I’ve also been involved with some non-league clubs where I’ve seen the volunteers on a regular basis and seen the great work that they do. Sometimes that goes unrecognised but, for someone who played at the top level, to then go to Billericay Town and witness that real eye-opener, it probably gave my love back to football.”

Edinburgh, now manager of Leyton Orient, continued: “The top players have become detached from fans, and it’s a shame. At grassroots level there’s that real bond and that real special connection between the fans, the players and everyone connected with the football club. For everyone here tonight who collects an award it’s very well deserved and I’d like to congratulate them.”

To get involved in grassroots Essex football, click on the 'Volunteers' menu above. Photos from the Awards Evening can be found on Facebook by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ and details about the local game are also shared on Twitter at @EssexCountyFA.


FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards

Coach of the Year: Jordan Stringer (Ivory United FC)

Community Project of the Year: Forest Crusaders Futsal Club

Charter Standard Club of the Year: Saffron Walden Community Youth FC

Charter Standard League of the Year: Essex Senior League

Supporter of the Year: Soledad Hall-Ballina (Island Girls FC)

Volunteer of the Year: Susana Delgado-Curtis (Basildon Boys & Girls Club FC)

Young Volunteer of the Year: Alfie Davidson (Frinton & Walton YFC)

Fair Play Awards

Open-Age Male

1st: Danbury & Bicknacre (Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League)
2nd: Railway Academicals Reserve Team (Saturday) (Southend Borough & District Football Combination)
3rd: Dunmow Rhodes (Braintree & North Essex Sunday League)

Open-Age Female

1st: Beacon Hill Rovers (Essex County Women’s League)
2nd: Alresford Colne Rangers (Essex County Women’s League)


1st: Basildon Soccability (Essex Soccability League)

Youth Boys (Competitive)

1st: Basildon Boys Club Under 15s (Leopards) (Southend & District Junior League)
2nd: FC Clacton Under 12s (Blues) (Colchester & District Youth League)

Youth Boys (Non-Competitive)

1st: Wivenhoe Tempest Under 11s (Reds) (Colchester & District Youth League)

Youth Girls (Competitive)

1st: Leigh Ramblers Under 15s (Essex County Girls’ League)
2nd: Hutton Under 18s (Essex County Girls’ League)
3rd: C & K Basildon Under 15s (Essex County Girls’ League)

Youth Girls (Non-Competitive)

1st: Frinton & Walton Under 11s (Hurricanes) (Essex County Girls’ League)
2nd: Leigh Ramblers Under 10s (Essex County Girls’ League)
3rd: Springfield Under 10s (Essex County Girls’ League)

#CelebrateEssex Volunteer Awards

Footie Mum: Lisa Ursell
Supporter: Millie (Grays Athletic FC)
Treasurer: Jack Smith (Concord Rangers FC)
Footie Dad: Jason Plunkett
Chairperson: Keith Di Palma (Tigers JFC)

Groundsman of the Year: David Atton (Lawford FC)

Long Service Certificate (10 Years)

Mark Rule (Referee)
Paul Brown (Wickford Town FC)
David Beckett (Writtle Minors YFC)
Darren Andrews (Prittlewell FC)
Lee Stevens (Bowers & Pitsea FC)
Barry Hubbard (Bowers & Pitsea FC)
David Wareham (Springfield FC)
John Meates (Springfield FC)
Mick Lee (Durham FC, Basildon & District Sunday League)
Alan Blanchett (Colchester & District Youth League)
Greg Coe (Essex County Girls' League)
Kevin Howard (Referee)
Dean Roberts (Essex Royals FC)

Exemplary Service (20 Years)

John Ledger (Southend Sunday League)
David Czyzewicz (Referee)
Rob Whitton (Southend Sunday League)
Janet Bushell (Trinity YFC)
Alan Friend (Referee, Essex Olympian League)
Dawn Barnard (Essex County Women’s League, Essex County Girls’ League)
John Farrant (Referee, Basildon Referees Society, Basildon & District Sunday League)
John Brooks (Hale End Athletic FC)
Kim Farmer (Colchester Town Girls FC, Colchester Town Ladies FC, Essex County Girls’ League)
David Hill (Southend Sunday League)

Outstanding Service (30 Years)

Sue Stanfield (Echo Junior League)
Michael Thomas (Southend Sunday League)
Ronald Bright (Southend Sunday League)
Roger Bowman (Colchester & District Sunday League)
Paul Blackwell (Essex County Girls’ League, Island Girls FC, Southfields FC)
Michael Fry (Woodham Radars FC)
Malcolm Shaw (Southminster Youth FC, Referee, Blackwater & Dengie Youth League)
Keith Handley (Heathwell United FC, Essex Senior League)
Dave Duffett (Referee)

Award of Merit (40 Years)

Lawrence Segal (Essex Senior League)
Norman French (Byron Red Star FC)
Michael Nunn (Debden Sports FC)
Dick Royce (Great Baddow FC)
Stuart Rose (Mid Essex League)
Ken Pearce (Mid Essex League)
Dave Medlock (Rayleigh Town FC)

FA 50-Year Award

Bob Brimacombe (Referee, Mid Essex League, Essex Veterans League)
Chris Baker (United Ockendon FC)
Dave Ambrose (Kelvedon Swifts YFC, Kelvedon & Feering United FC, Kelvedon Victoria FC) 
Dennis Wyman (Upminster Park Rovers YFC)
Lawrence Segal (OK Jewish Youth Club FC, London Accountants’ League, Essex County FA, Referee, Westhamians FC, Echo Junior League)
Len Llewellyn (Engine Plant Controllers FC, Ford Inter-Departmental League, Ford United FC, Ilford FC, Braintree Town FC, Isthmian League, Essex Senior League, Barkingside FC)
Lt Col Peter Andrews OBE (Colchester & District Youth League)
Mick Willmore (Thorpe Social FC, Thorpe Rangers FC, Clacton Monarchs FC, Holland Royals FC, Harlequins FC, Weeley Athletic FC, Blacksmith Arms FC, FC Clacton Town, Brightlingsea United FC, Essex & Suffolk Border League, Clacton Sunday League, Essex County FA)
Richard Myers (Parndon Royals FC, Harlow & District Sunday League, Arthurian Saturday League)
Terry King (Rainham Town FC, Aveley FC)

Awards Evening

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