Wetherby Athletic scoop FA gong for grassroots work

Wetherby Athletic's disability programme (Visualised Photography)
Wetherby Athletic's disability programme (Visualised Photography)

Wetherby Athletic were raising a glass on Tuesday after claiming national recognition for its commitment to the community.

Athletic’s expanding junior and senior structure earned the acclamation of World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hirst and the FA’s director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking in winning the FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year for 2015.

Chairman Angus Taylor said: “The award is fantastic news for Wetherby as a whole, and for Wetherby Athletic AFC as a club..”

“Full credit must got to everyone at the club for all the hard work they have put in over the many weeks, months and years, on and off the pitch.”

The FA Community Awards recognise and reward people across the country that make a difference to grassroots football in their local community.

More than 350 junior players take to the fields in Wetherby across all age groups as well as five senior men’s teams, two senior women’s and an under 21s side. U21’s manager Martin Powell also founded a programme of disability football on the Ings during the 2014/15 season.

Taylor added: “So much hard work is done by so many people at the club, and they give up so much of their own time as volunteers to make everything possible. Each and everyone of them deserve all the credit. 

“There are too many people to thank but I would personally like to thank Claire Stubbs as she puts in so many hours to help build that link up between the juniors and seniors so we stand together as one as a club going forward.

“She puts in so many hours with meetings, emails and phone calls - the list is endless. 

“With 17 junior boy teams, six junior girls teams, Under 18’s, Under 21’s, five senior men’s teams, two senior ladies teams, a veterans team and an ever growing disability programme, we really are a club for the whole community and we are really very proud of that.”

Stubbs added: “We are very proud to have been awarded winner of the FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year.

“We have a talented group of coaches and referees at Wetherby who tirelessly give up their free time as well as club officials who work behind the scenes.

“This was evident at the beginning of June where the club hosted two very successful junior gala days with 92 teams participating from the local community and surrounding areas providing children with lots of football and fun.”