By Callum Ellis
Philip Jones was presented with the Outstanding Achievement honour at the 2019 FAW Grassroots Football Association Awards, in association with McDonald’s.
The annual event, which celebrates the dedication and commitment shown by clubs, coaches, players and volunteers from across the country, took place ahead of Wales’ Euro 2020 qualifier against Croatia in October.
Despite having his career cut short due to illness when he was just 16-years-old, football has been a significant part of Jones’ life.
He hasn't kicked a ball since 1966 but his love for football encouraged him to remain involved with the game.
“To the detriment of my education, football always came first in my life,” said Jones.
“I didn’t do particularly well in school because I always wanted to do was play football. I captained the school team and played to a decent level.
“But, unfortunately, at 16 years of age, I was taken quite poorly. I was taken into the orthopaedic hospital in Gobowen and I was in a wheelchair for months until they diagnosed what my problems were.
"But that allowed me to explore other avenues to put what I love back into my life.”
From working as part of the community engagement team to an IT manager during his time with Airbus UK Broughton, Jones has taken on a number of roles to develop grassroots football.
“I started off as a club secretary, and over the years, I’ve been a manager and chairman,” he added.
“I don’t think there’s a role in a football club that I haven’t been involved with. Fundraising is my bag and it’s something that I love doing. I love rewarding and recognising people.
“I guess a lot of the values that I stand for have come from my 47 years of working at Airbus, where I was the IT manager. But I was also in charge of community engagement, so the things that I’m doing in local football are closely aligned with how my life has evolved.
“I watched my kids grow up to play a decent standard and I’ve lived my life through my boys.”