THOSE that make a difference to grassroots football in the county have been rewarded with an accolade.

And there are several in the Copeland area who have picked up gongs in the FA And McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards this year.

Grassroots Coach For Youth Of The Year went to Whitehaven AFC’s Craig Bristoe, Grounds Team Of The Year winner was Mirehouse AFC’s Terry Smith and Volunteer Of The Year went to Nichola And David Branney of Windscale AFC.

Mr Bristoe was described in his nomination as “selfless, never wanting praise or promoting himself and with both a passion for football but more importantly what is right”.

He began coaching the Under-6s at Whitehaven and was a founder member of the club’s Pan Disability section.

Terry Smith has been involved at Mirehouse AFC in almost every capacity and is now head groundsman and his nomination said he “works tirelessly in maintaining and developing the playing surface and surrounding facilities to keep the environment safe, week in, week out”.

It added: “Terry’s passion is clear and unquestionable for the grassroots game and particularly Mirehouse AFC. This recognition is a small accolade compared to the amount of time that Terry has given to the grassroots game over countless seasons.”

Volunteers Nichola and David Branney were also rewarded for their commitment at Windscale.

Their nomination said they have enabled the club to grow from having just two senior teams to adding a disability team and seven junior teams to the roster.

It said: “Without them, a 70-year-old FA Chartered Standard Club would not function, and more than 100 local children and adults would be looking further afield for a place to not only play the game, but do so at a place with some of the greatest facilities in the county.”

Ben Snowdon, chief executive of Cumberland FA said: “All of those nominated showcased the amazing work that goes on within Cumberland and I would personally like to thank all of those who took their time to nominate individuals, projects and clubs, as well as all of those who were nominated.

“As grassroots football starts to take its first tentative steps back following its suspension in March, these awards have reminded us all as to how important the game can be within local communities.

“Those who were shortlisted and subsequently chosen as our award winners epitomise this spirit as they have all demonstrated a selflessness in the work that they carry out within their specific areas of the county.

“The fact that others have made a concerted effort to nominate them for an award further demonstrates that their exertions have not only had an undisputable impact on the people and the groups they support but have made a real difference to a game they so clearly love.”

Full list of winners on our website:

Grassroots Club Of The Year – Dalston Junior Black Reds

Grassroots Coach For Youth Of The Year – Craig Bristoe (Whitehaven AFC)

Grassroots Coach For Adults Of The Year – Simon Savage (Penrith AFC)

Grassroots Project Of The Year – Barry Hoggarth, author of The Cumberland Senior Cup 1886 – 2019

Grounds Team Of The Year – Terry Smith (Mirehouse AFC)

Grassroots Match Official Of The Year – Tony Whitfield

Rising Star Of The Year – Cameron Meighan

Volunteer Of The Year – Nichola And David Branney (Windscale AFC)