Grassroots heroes Bill Grey, Yvonne Alexander, John Paterson and John Dickie, from Aberdeen, have been named winners of the Scottish FA’s North Rgion Best Volunteer in Adult Football, Disability Football, Schools Football and Girls and Women’s Football respectively in the 2012 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards, presented by McDonald’s and the Sunday Mail.
The Grassroots Awards celebrate those young players, coaches and volunteers in the six Scottish FA regions, who dedicate their time to supporting grassroots football in their local community.
Best Volunteer in Adult Football, Bill Grey, 57, has been the manager of Malibu Football Club in the Aberdeen Sunday Amateurs for over 15 years.
His attitude and love towards the game are second to none and he continues to inspire young footballers to enjoy playing whatever the result. It is this attitude that guarantees Bill has a full squad on match day.
His dedication allows the community to enjoy the sport that he enjoys so much and without him Malibu Football Club and his team wouldn’t have the lively and friendly attitude that it does today.
Best Volunteer in Disability Football, Yvonne, 37, turned her football coaching talent to the development of a squad for disability footballers in 2007.
The squad, ranging in age from 12 to 20 years, stands at 27 members with players that have both learning disabilities and cerebral palsy. In 2009 the team from Grampian made up 40% of the National U19 Scotland International Squad and in 2010 30% of the full International squad, who went on to win Scottish FA Team of the Year.
Yvonne’s passion for the game and her determination to offer football coaching to those with disabilities across Grampian, means her players can shine in the sport that she loves to be involved with.
Best Volunteer in Schools Football, John Paterson is the head coach at Mintlaw Academy and since joining the school he has developed a squad of coaches who have built up a great reputation for introducing kids to grassroots football, in a safe and fun environment.
Players feed off John’s enthusiasm for the game and as a result Mintlaw’s record, especially in Girls' football, at producing top class players is second to none.
John’s dedication to the school and in his role as Secretary Aberdeenshire Schools FA, allows children to shine at grassroots level and develop into talented and enthusiastic players.
Best Volunteer in Girls and Women’s Football, John Dickie has been the driving force of AFC Ladies since its formation he has helped it to grow to over 202 members.
The club offers a clear pathway from juniors to Ladies football and his tireless work recently earned the club Quality Mark Status.
On the pitch he attends every coaching session and as many games as he possibly can, John spends every waking hour making sure the club functions and without him grassroots football in Danestone simply wouldn’t function.
As winners of the North's regional awards they will now be included in the national shortlist, with the National Award winners being announced at a special ceremony at Hampden Park on Thursday September 27th.
Mark Slater, club development manager for the Scottish FA's North region, said: “Bill, Yvonne, John Paterson and John Dickie are all legends of the game in our eyes and it is right that we take the time, not just to recognise their dedication to the game, but also to say thank you for the enthusiasm and time that they give up.
"Without the 1000s of volunteers dedicating their time and effort passing on their skills to others, grassroots football in local communities simply wouldn’t happen. i want to wish them the best of luck in the national awards on the 27th and we look forward to hearing the results.”
Other winners from the North FA include:
• Best Volunteer in Youth Football – Tommy Regan
Follow the award on twitter: @2012Grassroots /#grassrootsheroes