Football awards

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Local grassroots heroes and clubs were recognised for their hard work and commitment at the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA awards evening, which took place at the New York Stadium, home of Rotherham United.

The awards recognise our individuals and clubs who work tirelessly to ensure football can be enjoyed in a safe and friendly environment.

The main award of the evening was the Derek Dooley Award for Outstanding Achievement in Grassroots Football, which was commissioned to acknowledge the outstanding contribution made by Dooley to both Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United and for his involvement in the grassroots game as a whole.

The County FA was delighted to present Ernest Walker with the 2013 award.

Whilst still a player, Ernest became secretary of his club, Smithywood Working Men’s Club.

When the club joined the Wragg League it was not long before he was on the league committee, eventually becoming the league secretary, and now he serves the Wragg League as its president.

Richard Finney, marketing and communication officer at the County FA, said: “Ernest joined the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA council in 1969 and when I broke the news about the award to Ernest he was both surprised and thrilled.

“As someone who doesn’t look for recognition for his efforts, it was great for the County FA to reward Ernest in this way.

“Ernest has earned this award for all his sterling work over the years, long may it continue.”

Geoff Burgess, who won the first Derek Dooley Award in 2008, and 2010 World Cup Final referee Howard Webb presented the award to Ernest.