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Local Football Volunteer will be honoured at Buckingham Palace

October 4, 2013

Local volunteer to receive National FA award from HRH The Duke Of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.

Devoted football volunteer Jim Hunter is to be honoured at Buckingham Palace in recognition of outstanding contribution and service to local football.

Jim will be one of the 150 volunteers to be recognised on Monday 7th October 2013 at Buckingham Palace. Volunteers from across the Country have been chosen for their outstanding service and contribution to local football.

Jim was nominated by his fellow colleagues for his commitment to the Club he started in the nineties, where he started a team for his son and friends to provide them with an opportunity to play football. This was the start of Crown Newlaithes Football Club which today, is chaired by Jim and has teams from U7 through to senior, providing opportunities for over 180 children to play football on a weekly basis. Since starting Crown Newlaithes FC, Jim has continued his love for the game by becoming the Chairman of the Carlisle Glass Youth League hosting 183 teams taking part on a weekly basis.

Jim said: “This is a great honour to be recognised for the work I love doing, this award isn’t just about myself, it’s about everyone else that works within grassroots football, this award is for them. Although my name will be on it everyone else that helps in grassroots football deserves the recognition.

“I would like to dedicate this award to my fellow colleague and friend Nigel Pritchard who passed away earlier this year, for without Nigel I wouldn’t be receiving such an accolade. We did everything together and it’s only through Nigel’s hard work that we have got to where we are today”.

Jim was nominated through The FA Community Awards presented by McDonalds which, every year recognises outstanding achievements within grassroots football. For more information on The FA Community Awards presented by McDonalds please visit www.cumberlandfa.com/clubs/fa-community-awards

Fred Conway, Chairman of Cumberland Football Association, said: “Jim is a loyal and dedicated gentleman who has put his heart and soul into chairing the Carlisle Glass Youth League. A remarkably well respected gentleman in the football community, Jim and his League colleagues have worked extremely hard to develop a relationship between the League and Cumberland FA in order to positively shape grassroots football in Cumberland”.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, in his official capacity as President of The Football Association, will host the event and will present Jim with a medal to commemorate his achievements.

A focal point of the day will see the Buckingham Palace garden host its first ever football match, featuring two of the oldest amateur clubs in England. The game, which will be played between Civil Service FC, the sole surviving Club from the eleven that met to create The FA in 1863, and Polytechnic FC, which was formed in 1875.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of The Football Association, said: “In our 150th year, it is hugely important for The FA to honour the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who week in, week out, help to provide the opportunity for millions more people to enjoy football at grassroots level. Inviting 150 of these volunteers to Buckingham Palace provides a fitting way for The FA to pay tribute and give thanks.”

Greg Dyke, Chairman of The Football Association, said: “These volunteers are the heartbeat of football. Without them, the game simply wouldn’t function at a grassroots level and it is only right that The FA honours their tireless and selfless work. We are delighted that, in his role as President of The FA, HRH The Duke of Cambridge has given his support to this initiative – even going as far as arranging for the first ever game of football to be played at Buckingham Palace in honour of our grassroots heroes.”

Cumberland FA would like to extend its congratulations to Jim and his family on this historic and unique achievement.

Keep an eye on www.CumberlandFA.com for further information on Jim’s day at Buckingham Palace.

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