FA award for dedication to disabled footy

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Russell Lewis, one of Northampton Town Football Club’s dedicated team members, has been awarded for his many years of service to the club’s Football in the Community programme when he was presented with the Outstanding Contribution Award by the Northamptonshire FA.

Russell, who has been with the Cobblers’ community team for 23 years, works to provide football opportunities to disabled players within the county.

“I feel very proud to have won this award and I’m very fortunate that, through my job, I have an opportunity to coach and help people with a disability reach their full potential.”

The accolade, which was announced as part of the Northamptonshire FA Community Awards, was presented to Russell at Northampton Town’s 14th annual Pan-Disability Football Festival, one of the many events over which he has seen the development for many years.

Upon receiving his award, Russell said: “I feel very proud to have won this award and I’m very fortunate that, through my job, I have an opportunity to coach and help people with a disability reach their full potential.

“ If I’m able to do this through football, it’s great, however, if I also help their growth as individuals, then it’s even better.

“Over 20 years, we have worked hard to develop our disability football coaching sessions, which take place on a Friday evening.

“It may be the last session we run each week, and it can often be after 9pm that I get home after dropping people off, but the smiles on individuals’ faces make it a rewarding experience.

He added: “I might be the person that won this award, but there are many individuals, both at Northampton Town and other clubs, that have put in a huge amount of work in the same area

Hopefully, our work together keeps us all going – and the feeling you receive, which is hard to explain, makes it all worthwhile.”

Brian Walden, Chairman of the Northamptonshire FA said:“Following a successful and rewarding playing career, Russell has devoted much of his time providing others with a chance to play the game, and the award is fully deserved and rewards the dedication he has given.”