On Sunday 4th August, local volunteer Carla Parker attended the 2019 FA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards national ceremony, held at the home of football, Wembley Stadium connected by EE, to collect her award after being named winner of the prestigious Football Mum of the Year award.
The FA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards recognise and celebrate the tireless volunteers who dedicate so much time to the grassroots game. The awards are now in their tenth year and Carla joins a long list of inspirational grassroots football heroes who marched down Wembley way to collect their coveted awards.
Carla’s dedication to her two clubs - Lymm Rovers FC and Broadheath Central FC - is exceptional. She referees four games a weekend, is team manager for an under-13 boys team, a club secretary and club welfare officer. On top of this astounding contribution to her club, Carla is league secretary - arranging fixtures for 150 teams - and referee secretary, guiding and appointing up to 300 referees every week.
If that wasn’t enough, Carla created and runs a league for mothers in her local area and is mum to four boys who all have football commitments. Judges were hugely impressed with her levels of enthusiasm, commitment and selflessness and are delighted to name her as this year’s Football Mum of the Year.
Carla accepted her award from McDonald’s ambassador Kimberly Walsh ahead of The FA Community Shield, supported by McDonald’s, which saw Premier League and Emirates FA Cup champions Manchester City defeat Champions League winners Liverpool. During the half time break, Carla joined World Cup hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst on the pitch in front of 77,000 fans.
“I have been involved with the Grassroots Awards since the beginning and the stories of the winners never fail to impress me. Carla should be extremely proud of her work and grassroots football in Warrington is a much better place with Carla a part of it,” said McDonald’s ambassador Sir Geoff Hurst. “The English game is in a very good place at the moment with the Three Lions boasting a number of young and talented players, while the Lionesses enjoyed a superb World Cup in France. Our national teams simply wouldn’t be in this place without the hard work of our grassroots volunteers - every player has to start somewhere. It was a pleasure to meet Carla and I hope she continues her extraordinary commitment to football for many years to come.”
On receiving her award, Carla Parker said: “It is such an honour to be awarded the 2019 McDonald’s Football Mum of the Year award and so exciting to receive the award from Kimberley Walsh at Wembley. I’ve been involved in grassroots football for many years and I love being able to be part of such a special community, but it’s been the children I have worked with that have kept me motivated over those years. I would like to thank everyone at Lymm Rovers FC and Broadheath Central FC, as well as my husband and four children, as without their support I would not be involved and playing football and finally all the great football mums in the UK who do so much.”
Steve Stewart, Cheshire FA CEO said: “All of the Staff, Board and Council here at Cheshire FA are delighted and thrilled for ‘Our Carla’. She fully deserves this national award, because she is the embodiment of all that is great about our hard-working volunteers across the county. Well Done to her, her family and all of her friends at Lymm Rovers and Broadheath Central.”
Having worked with The FA over the past 17 years, McDonald’s is the longest-standing supporter of grassroots football in the UK. Through this partnership, McDonald’s continues to champion the tireless volunteers who dedicate countless hours to provide enjoyable football to children and young adults regardless of age, gender or disability.
In addition to championing volunteers, McDonald’s has committed to providing over 5 million hours of fun football to 5-11 year olds and giving 500,000 children the chance to play football for the first time by 2022 through Fun Football Centres and other initiatives around the UK.
For further information on McDonald’s involvement in grassroots football and to find out how your club could benefit click HERE
To find out more about all of the 2019 FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Award winners, click HERE