A variety of grassroots volunteers from across Essex were recognised at our annual Awards Evening.
The 2023 Essex Awards Evening was hosted on Friday 15th September as a celebration to various dedicated volunteers who help make grassroots football what it is in Essex.
Honours such as the Essex FA Long Service Awards, England Grassroots Football Awards and the #CelebrateEssex Category Winners were all recognised and presented with trophies and certificates.
The evening was held at Colchester United’s JobServe Community Stadium and was hosted by Hospital Radio Chelmsford. We were joined by special guests Richie Wellens and Paul Terry from Leyton Orient, who talked about their footballing careers and helped to pay tribute to the volunteers collecting their awards.
Throughout the evening, volunteers of all ages from various backgrounds were awarded for their dedication to grassroots football across numerous roles. The spotlight was firmly shone on the individuals who through their dedication help to shape grassroots football in Essex.
Lana Gillard, Essex FA Football Development Officer and Volunteer Lead, was delighted with the evening and the opportunity to recognise the volunteers. “The evening was a great success and it was brilliant to see so many volunteers from all walks of life and in different roles receive the recognition they deserve.”
“A huge thank you to Hospital Radio Chelmsford for brilliantly hosting the evening. And a special thank you to Richie Wellens and Paul Terry, for giving up their time in order to make the evening even more memorable for our volunteers and their guests.”
Richie Wellens, Head Coach of Leyton Orient, said “It was a fantastic evening celebrating the best of Grassroots Football in Essex, and I was delighted to be invited and make some new friends in football.”
Paul Terry, Assistant at Leyton Orient, felt inspired by the array of volunteers at the evening. “We were honoured to be invited to attend the annual Essex FA awards evening, to share the evening with such great people was very special.
Both myself and Ritchie were very inspired by the work done at grassroots level across Essex.”
Brendan Walshe, CEO of Essex FA added, "The grassroots game is built upon the dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of thousands of volunteers across grassroots football in Essex. The evening was a wonderful celebration of some of those individual stories and journeys, spanning over more than 40 years in some cases, and we remain deeply grateful to all the volunteers across the county of Essex who continually give their time to support the game to grow, develop and thrive".
We would once again like to congratulate all the winners and highly commended individuals who picked up awards throughout the evening, as well as our hosts Hospital Radio Chelmsford and our special guests Richie Wellens and Paul Terry.
A full list of all the Essex County FA Award Winners recognised on the night can be found below. If you’ve got any photos from the evening to share, please tag us on our social media platforms and use the hashtag #ECFAAwards23.
England Grassroots Football Award Winners:
Male Pathway Coach of the Year: Scott Crosby (Little Thurrock Dynamos)
Female Pathway Coach of the Year: Catherine Perry-Jones (Little Canfield Stars)
Highly Commended: Mark Gordon (FC Redwing)
Disability Coach of the Year: Sonny Marra (Hashtag United Inclusive)
Match Official of the Year: Alfie Davidson
Grassroots League of the Year: Blackwater & Dengie Youth League
Grassroots Club of the Year: Witham Town Soccability
Highly Commended: Tigers JFC
New Volunteer of the Year Award: Laura Ingram (Great Notley)
Positive Football Environment of the Year: Autistic FC
Highly Commended: Tristan Edwards (Rowhedge Football Club), Billericay Town Soccability
Young Volunteer of the Year: Ria Lee (Ridgeway Rovers)
Highly Commended: Elizabeth (Witham Town Soccability), Jack (Maldon Saints)
Grounds Team of the Year: Paul Littleton (Harold Wood Cougars)
Highly Commended: Ray Beaumont (Dagenham United)
The Lioness Award: Frenford & MSA Women FC
Highly Commended: Jackie Wood (Great Wakering Women’s Walking Football)
Essex FA Long Service Award Winners
Award of Merit (40 Years): Jimmy Culleton (Mid Essex League), Barry Fitzgerald (Essex Alliance League), Roger Crane (White Notley FC), Anthony Phillips (Southend Borough District Combination), Norman Kelly (Oyster FC), Paul Mallet (Sunday Shrimpers), Paul Rogers (Sunday Shrimpers), Colin Rogers (Sunday Shrimpers), Graham Osborne (Colchester & District Sunday League)
Outstanding Service Award (30 Years): Derek Collyer (Billericay Town FC), Geoff Lord (Feering Falcons), Stephen Finn (Referee), Derrick Pearson (Hashtag United), Brian Waller (Colchester City Ladies), Richard Groves (Wakering Sports FC), Colin Henwood & Carol Henwood (Southend & District Junior League & Benfleet Villa YFC), Simon Hearn (Shenfield Association FC)
Exemplary Service Award (20 Years): Alan Blanchett (Colchester & District Youth Football League), Paul Falvey (Referee), Robert Bradley (Referee), Ralph Ricks (Sandon Royals FC), David Byrne (Colchester & District Sunday League), Dean Clarke (Wakering Sports FC)
#CelebrateEssex Volunteer Awards:
Welfare Officer: Helen Wilson (Tendering District Youth FC)
Media Manager: Rob Lilley (Catholic United)
Coach (Youth): Faye Ryan (East Thurrock United) and Richard Carroll (Perry Street YFC)
Treasurer: Jodie Battersby (Wivenhoe Tempest FC)
Secretary: Dave Lovell (Basildon Town FC)
Chairperson: Alan Day (White Ensign FC) and Nick Webb (Hatfield Peverel FC)
Young Volunteer: Max Young (Tigers JFC)
Footie Mum: Victoria Crockford (East Thurrock United Youth)
Footie Dad: Graham McCartney (St Cleres YFC)