St Albans City Youth scoop four Herts FA awards

Rachel Yankey with all the award winners.

Rachel Yankey with all the award winners. - Credit: Archant

England legend Rachel Yankey was guest of honour as the county’s football heroes were honoured at the Hertfordshire FA awards night.

The World Cup-themed awards evening, sponsored by North Herts College, took place yesterday, Wednesday May 4, at Sopwell House in St Albans.

Fresh from winning the FA Cup with Arsenal Ladies on Sunday, Rachel, who is England’s most capped player of all time, took questions from the audience and presented several awards.

Prizes were given to Hertfordshire’s FA Community Award winners, sponsored by McDonald’s while county awards were also handed out. Long-serving volunteers from the grassroots game also picked up honours.

It was a great night for St Albans City Youth, who collected four awards. General Manager David Wray scooped the Outstanding Contribution to Community Football prize, while 17-year-old Anthony Gosling was named Young Volunteer of the Year for the second successive year. Another City Youth representative, Charlie Boswell, was selected as Coach of the Year and club stalwart Terry Edwards was honoured for his 25 years’ service to football.

Wray heads up the club’s community operation, and has been responsible for hundreds of youngsters getting into coaching through coach education, mentoring and apprenticeship programmes.

He said: “I’m lucky to be able to do something that I love. I initially wanted to be a coach myself, but it took me a couple of season to realise I could be of most benefit helping young people become coaches. Receiving this award is a great honour.”

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Derrick Williams, founder of the Hertfordshire FA’s charity partner KitAid, gave a short presentation about the charity’s work distributing football kit in developing countries. Guests could also have their picture taken with a replica World Cup in exchange for a donation to KitAid.

The Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Annie Brewster, attended the evening, which was hosted by Luke Ashmead from BBC Three Counties Radio.

Peter King, Hertfordshire FA Chief Executive, said: “Congratulations to all our award winners and nominees. Their dedication to football is inspiring, and the judging panel had some really difficult decisions to make.

“Volunteers truly are the life-blood of the grassroots game, and the awards night is a fantastic opportunity to put their efforts in the spotlight.”