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Andy’s Our Unsung Junior Football Hero

Andy’s Our Unsung Junior Football Hero

The chairman of Amington based St John’s Junior Football Club Andy Crane has been named the 2017 Recognition Express Junior Football Club Unsung Hero for the Tamworth area. He wins a new football strip for one of his teams next season.

Out of all the nominations received, judges decided that the 49-year-old painter and decorator should be the first recipient of this annual award.  Andy has been chairman of the club for the past 10 years and ran the St John Colts team with great success for 14 years. He will be presented with a trophy after the club’s last match at Anker Valley Football pitches in Amington this Saturday.

The competition was held by promotional products and branded clothing specialists Recognition Express Tamworth to recognise and reward local people who work behind the scenes at junior football clubs and always go the extra mile for their team.

Explained owner of Recognition Express Tamworth Sam Giddy: “We wanted to give something back to the community we serve and as we specialise in recognition products, promotional items and branded clothing it makes sense for us to combine donating a new team strip to a local junior football club with recognising an unsung hero.

“We were very impressed by the level of dedication and commitment of all the people described in the entries and it was really hard to choose a winner as everyone deserved the award, but we decided that Andy’s long term commitment to the club, combined with the amazing amount of time he must devote to helping run 17 teams, just topped the balance.”

Club treasurer Jason Adams who nominated Andy for the award said: “Andy has worked tirelessly for our club over the past 15 years. If something needs doing he does it on top of helping to coach and manage all our teams, organising our annual tournaments and sorting out trophies for all of the players every season. We’re delighted that he’s won as he definitely deserves the recognition and the new kit is just what we need.

“Participation in grassroots football is growing and growing all over the country. Unfortunately, the huge sums of money that are around at the top of the game does’ filter down to the local clubs and leagues. Winning this kit really does help with clubs like ours, as we are constantly trying to raise funds for new kits and equipment, without putting additional financial strains on the players and their parents. Our coaches are always looking to get sponsorship from local businesses, so we can keep on providing our local community with the opportunity to keep on enjoying their football. “

Andy himself was surprised to learn of his award but joked: “it’s about time! Seriously though it’s very nice to be recognised. I really enjoy being part of the club and seeing what a difference playing sport makes to the boys and girls of all ages in our teams.”

Runners up Jason Charlesworth from Polesworth Juniors under 13s, Lee Blavins from Deerpark FC under 10s and Simon Butlin from Coton Green under 12’s will all receive a medal from Recognition Express.

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