Thursday 15 March 2012
The Barclays Community Sports Award for December has been awarded to Patrick Forest, a 62-year-old volunteer football secretary in the north-west.
Patrick has been organising charity football matches and tournaments for 25 years, after setting up a league to accommodate older players who still wanted to take part in regular football competitions.
The players aim to raise money and support for a large number of charities on Merseyside, and Pat estimates that he and his team Bramley Moore FC have raised up to £75,000 for local causes so far.
"We're proud that we've raised a large amount of money for worthy causes"
- Patrick Forest
As well as organising the players, matches, pitches and referees, Pat also hosts post-game activities like raffles and auctions, to raise further funds. The teams are open to players of all ages, integrating the young and old in the local community and putting their spare time to good use.
"I couldn't believe it when I found out I had won a Barclays Community Sports Award," he said. "All of our players contribute to the success of the charity matches, I just organise them!
"We're proud that we've been able to raise a large amount of money for worthy causes in the area."
Gareth Southgate, a judge on the Barclays Community Sports Award panel, paid tribute to December's winner. "Not only does Patrick contribute to grassroots sport in his community by encouraging people of all ages to play regular football, he does so to the benefit of charities and local causes," said Southgate.
"The sum of money Patrick and his players have raised is astounding, and it's fantastic to see football being used to give back something back to the area. It was an easy decision to give him this month's Barclays Community Sports Award."
The Barclays Community Sports Award is in its second year and will be awarded each month throughout the football season, just like the awards for the Barclays Player and Manager of the Month.
"It was an easy decision to give Patrick this month's award"
- Gareth Southgate
The award aims to demonstrate the outstanding contributions to grassroots sports that are being made by individuals up and down the country, at the same time as those in the professional game are being recognised for their achievements.
The Barclays Community Sports Award is delivered in partnership between Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League's Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
Each monthly winner will receive £1,000 for their group or organisation, a limited edition trophy and will be entered into the end of season award to win a further £5,000, all donated by Barclays Spaces for Sports.
The end of season award winner will also receive a VIP trip to London to receive their award from Gareth Southgate.
To nominate a person, group or organisation for the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Month visit barclayscommunitysportsaward.com.