SUFFOLK’S unsung heroes of the grassroots game have been honoured at a glittering Awards Ceremony.
Beattie’s, the bar at Portman Road named after Ipswich Town’s greatest ever player, provided the perfect backdrop to Wednesday’s Awards Ceremony.
More than 50 invited guests attended the event, which was once again sponsored by McDonald’s and Ransomes Jacobsen.
Those honoured include winners of The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2019, who received their glass trophies and certificates from McDonald’s franchisee Carol Rogerson.
Daniel Hollyhead of Corton Pythons Under-8s receives his Coach of the Year Award from Carol Rogerson of McDonalds and Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler
The Suffolk FA Groundsman of the Year awards for clubs competing at Step 7 and below were presented with their awards by Will Carr, Sales Director of Ransomes Jacobsen.
Seven officials also received Referee Long Service awards – three for 25 years, two for 40 years and two for 50 years – from Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler.
Following the Awards Ceremony guests enjoyed the pre-match build-up before watching Ipswich Town’s 2-0 SkyBet League One loss to Rotherham United.
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said: “The chance to celebrate those who dedicate so much time to the game is always a fantastic occasion.
“On behalf of everyone at Suffolk FA, McDonald’s and Ransomes Jacobsen as sponsors, ITFC as hosts of the ceremony, and all who benefit from their continued commitment to the grassroots game, congratulations to all those in receipt of awards.”
Grassroots Club of the Year: Beccles Town Youth; Highly Commended: Capel Plough Youth
Grassroots League of the Year: Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League
Grassroots Project of the Year: Hadleigh United
Grassroots Coach of the Year: Daniel Hollyhead. Highly Commended: Ian Johnson
Grounds Team of the Year: Beccles Town FC
Volunteer of the Year: Rob McMaster; Highly Commended: Colin Herbert
Rising Star of the Year: Amber Sparkes. Highly Commended: Amy King
Referee Long Service Awards
50 Years: Julian Cope & Keith Howlett
40 Years: Alan Knock & Ian Smillie
25 Years: Ian Copping, Henry Hogan & Graham Mackay
Groundsman of the Year – Step 7 & Below
Winners: Beccles Town FC
Runner-up: Claydon FC
Third: Bacton United 89 FC
The FA 50-Year Long Service Award: Keith Howlett
Rob McMaster of Mutford & Wrentham FC receives his Volunteer of the Year Award from Carol Rogerson of McDonalds and Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler