People's Award Winner
On Monday 13th October, Andy Jones, from Rhondda, was honoured by football legends including Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs at the Football Association of Wales (FAW) Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s, after being named winner of the People’s Award category in the annual grassroots football awards.
The FAW Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s, aim to recognise and celebrate those volunteers, clubs and leagues, across Wales, who dedicate their time to grassroots football in their local community.
The People’s Award was awarded following a national vote, where Andy received more votes than the other five shortlisted volunteers from across Wales. Jonathan Davies collected Andy's award at the ceremony ahead of the Wales vs Cyprus UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match, attended by McDonald’s Head of Welsh Football, Ryan Giggs.<1r>
Andy has been a stalwart at Ton & Gelli Boys and Girls Football Club for a number of years and was a shining light in their darkest moment. Andy was the driving force behind rejuvenating the club when they looked like folding after the senior committee all retired. He has tried his hand at many roles during his time at the club including club secretary and coach. He has also volunteered as grounds man, caring for the pitch and marking out the white lines on match day. The club has recently received a £300k grant thanks to Andy’s hard work and this award recognises the tireless dedication he has shown to keep Ton & Gelli Boys and Girls Football Club on the pitch.
McDonald’s Head of Welsh Football, Ryan Giggs said: “Andy’s award is a reflection of the hard work that goes into grassroots football which runs up and down the country. It is thanks to volunteers like Andy that our young footballers can enjoy grassroots football in a safe and fun environment. It’s important that we recognise the extraordinary efforts of the volunteers and clubs across Wales because without their dedication, time and effort the game as we know it wouldn’t exist. I would like to personally congratulate Andy on winning as it is fantastic that he has been recognised with this prestigious award.”
Local McDonald’s franchisee, David Balcombe, said: “It is a privilege to congratulate Andy on this award. My restaurants in the Valleys support a number of local grassroots clubs and it’s fantastic that local volunteers like Andy, who dedicate countless hours to grassroots football, provide constant opportunity for our local community to enjoy the game. Without them football across Wales would cease to exist so it is vital that we celebrate and recognise them.”
McDonald’s has been working with the FAW for 12 years to improve the standards of grassroots football. As part of McDonald’s ongoing commitment to improving the standards of grassroots football the partnership between The FAW and McDonald’s was recently renewed for another four years. The programme, which includes the annual Community Awards, focuses on raising the standards at accredited clubs from better safety, and better advice, to better kit and better recognition for volunteers.
As part of McDonald’s continued support for the grassroots game, 500 accredited clubs with a junior team will be given the opportunity to order a brand new adidas strip every year for the next four seasons. This means there is potential for over 7,000 strips to be distributed to clubs across Wales in the first year.
To find out more about McDonald’s renewed partnership with The FAW and the 2014 Welsh Community Football Award winners visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/betterplay and follow @2014Grassroots.
The 2014 FAW Football Award national winners were:
Club of the Year – Merthyr Town FC, Merthyr Tydfil
Performance Development Coach of the Year - Jay Catton, GAP Connah’s Quay Academy
Lifetime Achievement Award – Paul Hooson, Brickfield Rangers FC
School of the Year – Ysgol Tudno, Llandudno
Player of the Year (girl) - Lauryn Lyons, Flintshire
Player of the Year (boy) – Liam Cullen, Pembrokeshire
Grassroots Impact Award – Cefn Druids FC, Wrexham
Community Coach of the Year - Carys Davis, Newcastle Emlyn Ladies FC
Young Volunteer of the Year – Ellis Morgan, Islwyn JFL
Volunteer of the Year (People’s Award) – Andy Jones, Ton and Gelli Boys and Girls FC