By Dan Cope
Talking about his experiences at grassroots level as a youngster, Hartson said: “I was obsessed with football and all I wanted to do was play football. Three or four of mates would find a little bit of grass and chuck a few tracksuit tops down for goalposts and just play football for all hours.”
Hartson added: “When you go up to the under 7s, 8s and 9s and you take football more seriously, it’s all about the mums and dads then that help on a cold rainy day to tie the laces up, wash the kit and to slice the oranges at half time.”CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A GRASSROOTS HERO FOR THE AWARD THEY DESERVE
The striker, who was capped 51 times by Wales, emphasised the strong community aspect of grassroots football and the FAW grassroots awards.
Hartson said: “On a Saturday and Sunday morning, you have hundreds of kids who just want to get some fresh air, run about and show their talents. The volunteers do this because they want to give back to the community, these are community awards and it’s all about community.”
The former West Ham and Celtic striker acknowledged the value of grassroots volunteers and referred to them as “inspirational.”CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A GRASSROOTS HERO FOR THE AWARD THEY DESERVE
Hartson said: “There’s parents who want to get involved and volunteer, there’s a referee, parents stand on the touchline and encourage the kids to run around on these freezing cold mornings.
He added: “What they do is inspirational because it’s a want and a need to help your community and help these youngsters move forward in life.”
Talking about the Grassroots Awards, Hartson said: “There are heroes out there and people can vote for their local hero, the volunteers that are always there and give up their own time to help out in their community.”CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A GRASSROOTS HERO FOR THE AWARD THEY DESERVE