The winners of the FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards for Essex have been named to thank them for their coach, club and volunteer excellence, as well as their positive approach to projects, refereeing and encouragement at matches.
For over ten years, the awards have recognised and celebrated leagues, clubs, coaches, players, match officials and volunteers who go over and above when it comes to football in their local community. Ten Essex winners are being congratulated for their dedicated service and ongoing work to make the local game a fun and enjoyable environment for all.
The task of selecting winners was very difficult, with the 230 nominations submitted from Essex representing an all-time record, and an increase of 51 compared to last year’s figure. County FAs across England received 4,761 nominations in 2020, which is also a record and represents a 14% increase from the total in 2019. Essex's winners in the following ten categories are:
Grassroots Coach of the Year (Adult Teams): Keith Berriman (Tolleshunt Knights Eagles FC)
Highly Commended: Stuart Tryhorn (Eversley Athletic FC)
Grassroots Coach of the Year (Youth Teams): Rachel Harwood (Beacon Hill Rovers YFC)
Grassroots Volunteer of the Year: Kenny Bentham (Woodham Radars FC)
Highly Commended: Kelvin Jordan (Witham Town FC Soccability), Rob Passmore (Ramsey & Mistley FC), Matt Jarvis (Blackwater & Dengie Youth League), Kevin Lorkins (Hutton FC)
Grassroots Match Official of the Year: Aaron Farmer
Highly Commended: George Barker
Grassroots League of the Year: Essex Soccability League
Grassroots Club of the Year: Tigers JFC
Grounds Team of the Year: Kevin Mansfield (Maldon Saints YFC)
‘We Only Do Positive’ Respect Award: Sandra Abutrab (West Essex Colts FC)
These winners will now be considered for both a national version of their award, and the prestigious Bobby Moore Award, by an FA panel. Lana Gillard, Essex County FA Football Development Officer, commented: "We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination.”
“It was so pleasing to achieve a record number, which goes to show just how much dedication there is from grassroots football volunteers in our county. I must also show my appreciation to the panel who helped to select Essex's winners, which was a very difficult task.”
“Thanks to Beth Morrell and Wayne Deller from the Essex County FA, plus Gemma Stubbles from the Youth Forum, Active Essex's Lee Monk and Juliette Raison and Sarah Dooley from the University of Essex. Fingers crossed our winners now do well in the national voting!"