Football activists along the East London Line have made a big impression at the London FA’s annual awards bash, by picking up three of the prizes on offer.
Staged at Brisbane Road, Leyton Orient’s home ground, the awards, now in their fourth year, aim to recognise the sport’s unsung heroes with work done by clubs, volunteers and officials across London all under the gaze of the judges.
Derek Bennett, Tower Hamlets Senior Football Development Officer, won a Special Partnerships gong for his work in supporting grass roots football initiatives, encouraging women’s football within the borough and helping clubs achieve Charter Standard – the footballing benchmark of excellence.
Mr Bennett was delighted to be recongised by the FA after picking up the same prize last year. “It was a great honour and surprise to receive an award for the second year running.”
He continued: “It gives me great pride to serve the people of Tower Hamlets in my role promoting the world’s greatest sport. The borough has a rich football tradition and the community, although faced with many challenges, are very passionate about the game.”
Mr Bennett’s passion and “100 per cent” dedication to the game was also acknowledged and praised by the regional governing body.
The football sage said that the dynamics of the borough make it an exciting place to work. “There is never a dull moment,” he said.
“Although this award was for me, I feel it also belongs to Tower Hamlets for the great strides we have made.”
Other East London Line winners were Hackney’s Steve Bartlett, who picked the Disability Partnership award and Chris Roberts, who was rewarded for his work with the under 25s at Lewisham Youth.