2023 Cheshire FA Awards

Cheshire FA Grassroots Football Awards 2023

A special evening to recognise some incredible achievements.

On Friday 27 October, Cheshire FA were proud to host our annual Grassroots Football Awards for 2023 at Stockport County FC.

It was a special night of celebration as we rewarded and honoured our grassroots volunteers, clubs, leagues and referees from across the game in Cheshire.

Special guest, and former England international, Emile Heskey, joined us to share his experiences in professional football and the importance of grassroots football, recognising Black History Month and the vital message around inclusion within the game we love.

Leon Hinchcliffe, of Tranmere Rovers FC Disability Team, stole the show as he delivered a moving speech after collecting their award; all about what football means to him, his friends and his love of the game. He received a standing ovation from everyone in the room, bringing some to tears.

On the night, we welcomed colleagues from The FA to join us, including Butch Fazal, Alice Watson, Lee Dyson and Craig Lee.

We would like to also say a huge thank you to all of our sponsors and partners for supporting the event; host, amie Sutherland; magician, Matt Windsor; The Joshua Tree team led by Debbie Wilkinson; Orange Ball's Sak Rafique; Nigel Knowles of Jackson Fire & Security; Reon Stewart from Kick It Out; Anna from Pride Sports UK & Football v Homophobia; Jennifer Kennedy and Helen Pullin from West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce; Ian Lamb and the team at UYR Group; Darren and the team at O'Neils; and Debbie and the team at KCCS Cleaning.

Cheshire FA Chief Executive Officer, Steve Smithies, spoke of his pride at the event: “What a special night we had at Stockport County on Friday; it was great to see so many of our football community join us from across Cheshire to celebrate the magnificent work that goes on around the county. A huge thanks to Emile Heskey, as well as our friends from The FA and Kick It Out, for joining us to celebrate the achievements of our clubs, leagues, referees and volunteers. It was made even more special by having the FA Cup trophy with us on the night too.”

Greg McLean, Cheshire FA's Business Development Manager, added: “It was a privilege to lead the organising team on such a prestigious event for the county. We are very lucky in Cheshire to have such a committed volunteer workforce and it was great to have the opportunity to say thank you in such a positive way. A big thank you must also go to our sponsors, partners and Stockport County FC for all their support. We hope it was a night that will live long in the memory of those who joined us.”

Well done to all of our winners:

Winner Organisation Category
Terry Harrop Individual Award FA 50-Year Recognition Award
Terry Conlon Individual Award FA 50-Year Recognition Award
Wallasey & District Sunday League Wallasey & District Sunday League
Changing Lives Through Football Award
Philip Simmons Ashville Football Club Positive Football Environment Award
Mike Worden AFC Waverton Grassroots Coach of the Year - Female Pathway
Luke Reynolds Altrincham Junior Football Club Young Volunteer of the Year Award
Dillon Buckley Cheshire FA Referee Grassroots Match Official of the Year Award
Stephen Deakin Sandbach United Football Club Grassroots Grounds Team of the Year Award
Myles Hocknell Sandbach United Football Club Grassroots New Volunteer of the Year Award
Birkenhead Sunday League Birkenhead Sunday League League of the Year
Stephen Johnson Altrincham District FA Referee Mentor of the Year
Nick Wooldridge and Paul Wooley Altrincham Juniors Football Club Safeguarding and Welfare Award
Mid-Cheshire Youth League Mid-Cheshire Youth League Changing Lives Through Football Award
Sandbach United Football Club Sandbach United Football Club Inclusive Club of the Year
Birkenhead Sunday League LGBTQ+ Inclusion Project Birkenhead Sunday League Changing Lives Through Football Award
Cheshire Blades FC Cheshire Blades FC Community Impact Award
1874 Northwich Walking Football 1874 Northwich Changing Lives Through Football Award
Timperley and District Junior Football League Timperley and District Junior Football League
Changing Lives Through Football Award
Stockport District Referees Society Stockport Referees Society
Changing Lives Through Football Award
Tranmere Rovers Football Club Tranmere Rovers Football Club Disability Club of the Year Award
Martin Higby West Kirby United Football Club Changing Lives Through Football Award
Rakers Football Club Rakers Football Club Changing Lives Through Football Award
Frodsham Juniors Football Club Frodsham Juniors Football Club Grassroots Club of the Year
Sue Terry and Lisa Stevenson Cheshire Girls' League Women and Girls' Football Award
Kath Burgess Individual Award Lifetime Achievement Award

Take a look at photos from the night, and CLICK HERE for a full album capturing the evening's event.