Hatfield Peverel Under 12s (Harriers) player Edward Weston showed maturity beyond his years to look after the welfare of an injured opponent during a game, earning himself a special Essex County FA Fair Play Award and attracting the praise of his school headmaster!
The award is presented on a monthly basis following a nomination process and vote run through Facebook. Plume Academy student Edward was one of the two finalists for October and his display of compassion was sufficient for him to win the online poll, securing 61% of 495 votes.
He was involved in a match played against Silver End at Peverel’s home ground. During the game, a football hit an opponent in the face. Edward immediately looked after him and made sure he was OK. After the game, the injured player’s parent E-Mailed Hatfield Peverel to say thanks and to express ‘this is how the game should be,’ referring to his sportsmanship.
“It was a bit scary, to be honest, because the ball hit his head pretty hard,” Edward recalled. “It was a cold day, which didn't help him at all. I can remember that my best friend, Bradley, was going to lob the ball to me, and he just so happened to be in the way and got hit in the face. I did what I did because I have always been there for people when they get hurt.”
“When I go to help them up they always say nice things to me, and it helps when people are nice back to you. I do think some of my team mates would have done the same thing, especially when somebody gets hurt. I have received so many nice comments from people. I didn't know about the poll [on Facebook] first of all, and I didn't mind if I won or not.”
“My Mum and Dad told me lots of people had been voting, which was kind of them. My headmaster and teachers at Plume Academy have been supporting me, too. And lots of people at my football club have been saying congratulations for winning, and saying that I deserve it. If it wasn't for lots of nice people then I wouldn't have won.”
Helen Hever, Essex County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, was also impressed: “In what can be a potentially serious situation, Edward displayed a high level of both maturity and sportsmanship. Football is a competitive game, with players wanting to play to their best ability.”
“But the action Edward took emphasises that players can play competitively without losing the respect for others. It is also great to learn how his school and family have supported his nomination, for which he must be congratulated. This incident is a wonderful example of The FA’s Respect Campaign. Well done, Edward, and best wishes for the remainder of the season!”
You can follow each month’s Essex County FA Fair Play Award by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook. Information on local grassroots football is also shared on this website and by following @EssexCountyFA on Twitter.