This prestigious event was again held at the impressive Brent Civic Centre on Friday, 21st October and was, once more, a success. The programme of events was interesting and inspiring and clearly demonstrated that the future of football in Middlesex is in safe and capable hands. The impressive dedication of all of our volunteers shone through.
Middlesex FA Chairman, John Taylor opened the evening with a welcome to everyone in attendance. He expressed our thanks to Dave and Michelle West from Elco Building Services, for their continued support of the event.
He also thanked the Middlesex FA team, led by Jacob Ballheimer who put the event together again.
John mentioned that, at this event last year, we launched our “Leading from the Front” strategy. It is a three-year strategy, based on our mission to rebuild, modernise and grow the game for all. We are pledged to be committed, creative, collaborative and connected.
He was pleased to report that progress has been made against all of the targets which we set ourselves in the first year of the strategy.
John then handed the mic to Katie Phillipson, formerly our Head of Participation and Development, who gave a very informative presentation. She described the legacy programme, kick started by the England Women’s Euro success, which we are developing together with the Borough Councils of Brent, Ealing and Hounslow, to promote Women’s and Girls’ football in our region.
John then handed the running of the evening’s events over to MC Mike Heavey, who did his usual excellent job of keeping things moving efficiently but with a light touch.
Middlesex Chief Executive, Kayleigh Saunders made the first award of the evening. This was The Spirit of Grassroots Football Award, which was presented to Rhys Porter, an incredible 14 year old with Cerebral Palsy, whose tremendous efforts have given a voice to thousands of para footballers.
The next award was the 20 Years Referees Long Service Award, which was presented to Lee Tilbury by the Chairman of the Middlesex FA Referees’ Committee, Doug Douglas.
Doug then presented the award for Grassroots Match Official of the Year to Grisha Zeigermaher. Grisha is a member of the Middlesex Referee Academy and has impressed his coaches and his fellow members with his enthusiasm and with the quality of his performances.
Middlesex FA achieved The FA Equality Standard Award, and this was presented to CEO, Kayleigh Saunders by Past President, Derek Mennell.
The Grassroots Project of the Year was Orange Ball, which uses football as a tool to deliver exercises and techniques to improve players’ mental wellbeing and showcases how mental wellbeing can impact performance and also the benefits that can be taken into life.
John Taylor made this presentation to founder, Sakib Rafique.
John then made 10 Year Long Service Awards to the following recipients:-
Billy Martin (Hampton Rangers), who has been involved with the club since the 1990s and has been Club Chairman for the last 18 years. With Billy’s guidance, the club has grown dramatically and now has 14 youth teams, runs open play Saturday morning sessions for 4-8 year olds and 9-12 year olds and hosts weekly sessions for children with autism.
Andy Charalambous (Omonia Youth), who has been a coach, manager and latterly a trustee of the club for 14 years. Andy has been involved in various club activities including annual tournaments, dinner dances and presentation days and was the driving force behind two football tours to Cyprus.
Elia Constantini (Omonia Youth), who has been a coach, committee member and latterly a trustee for 15 years. He was Club Chairman from 2013 to 2015 and has been involved in numerous events.
Kyri Georgiou (Omonia Youth), who started coaching with the club in 2008 and took his team all of the way through to under 18 in 2020. He has also been a committee member, Welfare Officer and Vice Chairman at the club and has led on various events.
Chris Gregoriou (Omonia Youth), who started coaching with the club in 2009 and took his team all of the way through to the end of their youth football journey in 2020. He was then the driving force in creating the club’s first men’s team, thus establishing a pathway for the children who wish to continue their football journey with the club.
James Harrington-Cooke (CB Hounslow United), who has held roles at both CB Hounslow United and Feltham Youth, as Secretary, Vice Chairman and Chairman. He has developed through running under 8/9s to being involved with step 6 and development sides.
Demi Shiamishis (Omonia Youth), who has been a coach, committee member and latterly a trustee for 13 years. Demi led the initiative to have the club benefit from being a Nike Partner Club and has been instrumental in negotiating significant shirt sponsorship deals.
Next, John Taylor, who is the Middlesex FA’s Representative on The Football Association, presented two FA 50 Year Long Service Awards. The recipients were:-
Middlesex FA Vice Chairman, Doug Douglas. Doug took up the whistle in 1975, at the conclusion of his playing career and was rapidly promoted to Class 1. He joined the Isthmian League, as a linesman in 1978 and progressed to the referees’ list, where he had a successful tenure before retiring in 1990. He joined Harrow Referees Society in 1976 and eventually became Chairman. Doug has been a Referee Assessor since 1978, observing on a wide range of leagues during the past 44 years.
He joined Middlesex FA as a Council Member in 1991 and has held many roles, including Chairman of the Referees’ Committee, Director and more recently, a Life Member of the Association.
Steve Parsons, whose football career started in 1972 at Birch Green FC, where he was a player and co-founder. Steve then played for Birchmead Ramblers FC and then Moormede Ramblers FC, where he became Club Treasurer.
Steve is well known for his association with Staines Town FC, whom he joined as Programme Editor and Club Historian in 1983. He was subsequently a committee member, trustee, Secretary, Press Officer and finally a Life Member. Following the sad demise of Staines Town, Steve has now joined Staines and Lammas (Middlesex) FC as Secretary.
Over the years, Steve has also assumed roles with Middlesex FA, Allied Counties Youth League, Southern Counties Competition, the Capital League and the Island Games.
The next presentation was Grassroots League of the Year which went to the Capital Girls League. They were winners of this award in 2021 and have continued to go from strength to strength, providing initiatives to help remove the barriers that many girls face in playing football.
The final presentation before the interval was made to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Greater London Women’s Football League. The League was founded in 1972 as the Hounslow and District Ladies Football League, with just 14 teams and 300 registered players and it has since played an important part in the growth of the women’s game.
We then had short intermission to enable the guests to refill their glasses and buy raffle tickets to support St Luke’s Hospice, the Association’s Official Charity.
John recommenced proceedings by presenting an award to
commemorate 100 Years of Hampton & Richmond Borough FC. Secretary Richard Parsons accepted the award to mark this fantastic achievement, on behalf of his popular and eminent club, who we are proud to number as one of our member clubs.
Next came The Elco Special Recognition Award to Peter Croffey of Kodak FC. Peter gives a lot of time to his club, helping it to grow to 3 adult teams. He does everything to ensure that the club excels, from general admin to cleaning the changing rooms and ensuring that it can balance the books.
Townmead Youth were Grassroots Club of the Year. Middlesex FA Board Member, Barbara Bivens made the presentation. Chairman Gary Williams formed the club to meet the specific needs of the diverse community of his area. The club provides a safe, fun and educational environment for its members. It prides itself on keeping the game affordable and it provides facilities such as holiday camps.
Bedfont Sports Club took the Grassroots Grounds Team of the Year award. Terry Reader is continuing the fantastic work started by his legendary father Dave. Thanks to Dave’s vision and hard work, the club now care for 2 artificial pitches as well as the 9 council owned pitches on their site. Terry and Paul Horsnell work tirelessly to maintain all of these surfaces, using their vast knowledge to ensure that every player at their club has access to top quality and safe facilities.
The Grassroots Coach of the Year Youth Teams award went to Lee Wilson. The presentation was performed by Kayleigh Saunders. Lee inspires the children that he works with to do things which they didn’t think that they could do. Coaching with respect and compassion for the diverse group that represents his community, Lee is leading the way to a brighter future for his players.
Next Kayleigh presented the Grassroots Coach of the Year Adult Teams award to Elliot Bird. Elliot is the Co-founder, Chairman and Coach of AFC Hatch End. He doesn’t focus solely on the results but puts his players first, working endlessly to help them improve both on and off the pitch.
The next item on the programme was the presentation of the 25 Year Long Service Awards. These were presented to the following:-
Kypros Kyprianau (Omonia Youth), who has been with the club for 28 years and has been a coach, committee member, Chairman and trustee. He has been involved in numerous events including annual tournaments, dinner dances and presentation days.
Michael Pieri (Omonia Youth), who began coaching after leaving school in 1990. His current team is an under 18 side, which he has taken through from under 9 level. He became a committee member in 2014 and became Chairman in 2016.
Rob Rush (CB Hounslow United), who has spent 30 years in local football, managing at QPR ladies with distinction. He helped create CB Hounslow Girls in 2007 and is currently Director of Ladies and Wildcats/Development at CB.
Roy Wright (CB Hounslow United), who has spent 40 years in the game. He was co-founder and is currently Vice Chairman at CB Hounslow FC, having held many roles within both the adult and youth sections of the club,
The next award was made by independent Middlesex FA Board Member, Poonan Majithia to Michelle Johnson, who was named as Grassroots Volunteer of the Year. Michelle works tirelessly to ensure that Harefield United Youth can operate and provide football to the hundreds of boys and girls in their village. She takes on many tasks, from player registrations to being Club Welfare Officer to looking after the social media pages.
The Rising Star of the Year award went to Adannaya Johnson-Nwosu, who was a member of the 100FC programme run by Middlesex FA, London FA and the AFA. She achieved her Level 1 in coaching in 2019, at which point she was paired up with Acton Ealing Whistlers. Adannaya commits her time providing a fun and safe environment for girls to play football in but she does this alongside her medical degree. She is a star in the making but to the girls that she coaches, she is a star already.
A special award was made to Leigh O’Connor, who recently left us after 22 years’ service, the last 6 as CEO. Leigh is now FA Regional Manager for the West Region. He did a great job for Middlesex FA and we wish him well.
The last presentation of the evening, the Middlesex FA Fellowship Award was made by Past President Derek Mennell to myself (Jim Taylor). I was the second recipient of this honour, the previous one being Derek, last year.
I am deeply honoured and expressed my thanks, to Middlesex FA for the award, to my family for making it possible and to the Middlesex football family for making its acquisition a really pleasurable experience.
We then moved on to draw the raffle, after which MC Mike Heavey, closed the evening by wishing everybody a safe journey home. Congratulations are due to our events team on providing another memorable evening. A special mention must also be made of the sumptuous buffet, provided by Peter Kakouris and his team from Rectory Park.
We thank Chris & Jim for their support at this event, Chris as ever was busily capturing images of our guests upon arrival, and throughout the night, whilst Jim kept tabs on the goings on for this report. Chris has provided a full album of imagery which can be found below.
As with any event there were a number of our Award Winners who unfortunately could not join us on the night, these were:
10 Year Long Service Awards
- Chris Mousicos
- Jimmy Mousicos
25 Year Long Service Awards
FA 50 Year Award
Referee Long Service Awards
Elco Building Services Special Recognition Awards
- Bob Davies
- Maria Serpant
- Tony Benfield
Full Album of Imagery courtesy of Chris Benn
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR 2022 GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL AWARD WINNER VIDEOS