Doncaster Rovers have been named as one of Britain’s best community clubs - but were pipped to the overall award by an old foe.
The club scooped the North East Johnstone’s Paint Community Club of the Year gong at The Football League Awards last night.
However, the overall prize went to Brentford, the club Rovers beat in dramatic circumstances on the final day of last season to pip them to promotion and secure the League One championship trophy.
The club received the award at the gala ceremony at The Brewery, London, in front of over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
This year a total of 36 clubs were shortlisted for 17 awards.
Doncaster Rovers Foundation’s diverse range of 26 projects engages with more than 18,000 participants and uses the power of sport, physical activity, training and education to develop stronger communities.
This is achieved through tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, improving social, physical and mental health and well-being of the community, helping to develop an economically active community and to build and maintain strong and effective relationships with local, regional and national partners.
In the last 12 months the foundation has helped to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour in a targeted area through the Kickz / Project Youth programme, supported job-seekers into full-time skilled work, and all learners on its Multi Skills programme achieved two nationally-recognised qualifications.
This category recognises the community scheme that has best demonstrated success at engaging with the local community in the 2013 calendar year. In deciding the winners, judges consider the objectives of the scheme, breadth of delivery, innovation, impact and achievements in 2013, alongside each scheme’s flagship project.
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League, said: “The Football League Awards 2014 has given us the opportunity to reward outstanding achievement, both on and off the pitch, by Football League clubs.
“Every one of tonight’s winners is a worthy recipient of their award and all the other nominees have helped set an exceptional standard this year.
“It has been a tremendous celebration of life in The Football League.”
Gavin Baldwin, Chief Executive, of Doncaster Rovers said “This is the second time the Club have been shortlisted for a Football League award in two years. It shows the great progress the club is making off the pitch and that we are seen as best practice among our peers, which is a fantastic compliment.”
“Credit has to go to Liam Scully and the Community Sports & Education Foundation, for the fantastic work they deliver throughout the Doncaster Community”
Liam Scully, Chief Executive, of the Doncaster Rovers Community & Education Foundation said “We’ve had an amazing year and have undertaken so many fantastic projects across Doncaster. We work in partnership with DMBC, Selby College, The Football League Trust, The PFA, SY Police, SY Fire & Rescue, St Leger Homes and some many others. This news is a credit to all our partners too.”
The Awards were streamed live on The Football League’s official YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as official club websites and YouTube channels for the first time ever.
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of Award categories, please visit www.FLAwards.com.