INDIVIDUALS, clubs and leagues were honoured at a special ceremony at Portman Road.
Just under 100 guests from all over the county gathered on Tuesday for the Suffolk FA Awards Ceremony for 2020 & 2021 sponsored by McDonald’s & Jacobsen Ltd.
The 2020 event had to be postponed due to Covid, but winners from the past two years came together to celebrate their outstanding achievements.
Winners of The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards were joined by the Groundsman of the Year 2020 winners (this year’s event couldn’t be held due to Covid) and Referees whose continuous long service was also recognised.
The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards were presented by McDonald’s franchisee Carol Rogerson and both the Groundsmen and Referee Long Service Awards by Andre Andrade, Key Account Manager of Jacobsen Ltd. Both were joined by Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler.
Referees are pictured above with their certificates at the Awards Ceremony at Portman Road. Main photograph: Winners and those highly commended in The FA and McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards for 2020 & 2021 gather for a group shot with McDonald's franchisee Carol Rogerson on the far left. Photographs: Chris Winder
Guests then enjoyed pre-match hospitality before watching Ipswich Town take on Doncaster Rovers in their Sky Bet League One fixture.
Ipswich recorded their first home win of the season with a 6-0 victory to round the afternoon and evening off in style.
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said: “The local game is built on the good will, passion, commitment and expertise of people who so often don’t get the appreciation they deserve. In particular, those vital people behind the scenes who plan the sessions, organise the fixtures, cut the grass, mark the pitches, set out the respect barriers, and liaise with us and leagues long before any participants arrive on matchdays.
“After what has been an incredibly tough 18 months, including the start of the 2021-22 season, together with Jacobsen and McDonald’s it was lovely to be able to finally celebrate the achievements of those recipients of awards and accolades. On behalf of Suffolk FA I offer my most sincere congratulations and appreciation to all.”
Those winners unable to attend will receive their certificates and awards in due course.
These included the Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League, recipients of four Grassroots Football Awards across the two years, Beccles Town FC, winners of the Groundsman of the Year competition, and five referees – Gordon Richards (40 years’ continuous service) plus Brian Chapman, Russell Griggs, Tim Moore, Ralph Parish and Alan Saxby (25 years’ continuous service).
Roll of Honour
The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2020 winners
Grassroots Coach of the Year (Adult team): Gemma Vass (AFC Kesgrave Ladies FC)
Highly Commended: Will Frost (Sporting 87 FC)
Grassroots Coach of the Year (Youth team): Stuart Horrex (Ipswich Phoenix FC)
Highly Commended: Harrison Ward (Felixstowe & Walton United FC)
Grounds Team of the Year: Sam Cloke (Leiston St Margaret’s FC)
Grassroots Club of the Year: Halesworth Town Youth FC
Highly Commended: Holbrook Hornets FC
Grassroots League of the Year: Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League
Grassroots Volunteer of the Year: Ed Smith (Stoke by Clare FC)
Highly Commended: Graham Hall (Trimley Red Devils FC) & David Cunningham (Sporting 87 FC)
Rising Star of the Year: Isabel Chaplin
Highly Commended: Amy King & Isaac Bell
We Only Do Positive Respect Award: Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League
Grassroots Match Official of the Year: Anthony Reeve
Highly Commended: Dexter Allen
Grassroots Project of the Year: Kirkley & Pakefield FC Junior Committee
The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2021 winners
Coach of the Year Adult: Clem Turner (Unity FC)
Highly Commended: Chris Hewett (Lakenheath Casuals FC)
Coach of the Year Youth: Stuart Gordon (Felixstowe & Walton United FC)
Highly Commended: Jason Day (Bury Town FC) & Dave Grimwood (Achilles Youth FC)
Grounds Team of the Year: Tony Adams (Claydon FC)
Highly Commended: Steve Byford (Ipswich Wanderers FC) & Tony Robinson (Coplestonians FC)
Grassroots Club of the Year: Wot's Up Warriors FC
Highly Commended: Lakenheath Youth FC
Grassroots League of the Year: Norfolk & Suffolk Youth Football League
Grassroots Volunteer of the Year: Jason Day (Bury Town FC)
Highly Commended: Chris Hewett (Lakenheath Casuals FC)
Rising Star of the Year: Luke Fitch (Bacton United 89 FC & Stowmarket United FC)
Spirit of Grassroots Football Award: Gavin Harvey (Wot’s Up Warriors FC)
Highly Commended: Lee Smith (Wot’s Up Warriors FC)
Match Official of the Year: Lee Wood
Project of the Year: Norfolk & Suffolk Youth Football League
Highly Commended – Mike Powles (Walsham-le-Willows FC)
The Groundsman of the Year 2020 awards were presented to third-placed Tony Adams of Claydon FC (second left) and Trevor Chenery (second right) of runners-up Halesworth Town FC. They are pictured with Andre Andrade, Key Account Manager of Jacobsen Ltd, and Ipswich Town FC Head Groundsman Ben Connell, who led the Judging Panel. Photograph: Chris Winder
Groundsman of the Year 2020 Winners
1st Beccles Town (Shaun Soloman and Chris Brown)
2nd Halesworth Town (Adrian Waters)
3rd Claydon FC (Tony Adams)
Long Service Referee Awards
40 Years: Mike Moir & Kevin Theobald
25 Years: Denis Angell, Steve Carr, Stephen Davill, Alan Gardiner, Gareth Moir & Nick Ward
Double celebration at Portman Road