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Pat Jennings leads search for unsung heroes of local grassroots football

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Safe hands: Goalkeeping great Pat Jennings, a McDonald’s Football Ambassador, at the launch of the McDonald’s Fun Football initiative

Safe hands: Goalkeeping great Pat Jennings, a McDonald’s Football Ambassador, at the launch of the McDonald’s Fun Football initiative

Safe hands: Goalkeeping great Pat Jennings, a McDonald’s Football Ambassador, at the launch of the McDonald’s Fun Football initiative

IFA and McDonald’s ambassador, Pat Jennings is calling for people involved in grassroots football to nominate the unsung heroes of the game across Northern Ireland with the deadline for the 2019 Grassroots Football Awards fast approaching.

The IFA and McDonald’s 2019 Grassroots Awards nominations officially close on 9th August.

The awards provide an opportunity to honour the unsung heroes of community football across six different categories.

This year’s awards will celebrate and honour Club of the Year, Coach of the Year, Mum of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year and the Inclusivity Award.

Pat Jennings, Northern Ireland’s most capped player and Head of McDonald’s Football in Northern Ireland is leading the final push for nominations and is urging communities to honour those local heroes.

"The McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards are a fantastic way to recognise the thousands of unsung volunteers who support the grassroots game and their continued efforts that ensure young players of all ages, genders and abilities reach their potential," said Jennings.

"Anyone can be nominated for an award; from coaches and caretakers to club secretaries and fundraisers, anyone whose selflessness and commitment allows children to enjoy grassroots football in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment so make sure you nominate a local hero.”

Every year the awards receive thousands of nominations and are backed by leading football legends including Sir Geoff Hurst, Martin Keown, Kenny Dalglish and Pat Jennings across the UK.

As the longest standing supporter of grassroots football, McDonald’s continues to champion selfless volunteers who enable children and young adults to play and enjoy grassroots football in a safe and welcoming environment regardless of age, gender or disability.

Pat added: "I have been humbled by the dedication, passion and enthusiasm of our grassroots volunteers and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate their achievements.

"With nominations closing on 9th August, I urge anyone involved in Grassroots football to get involved and nominate a worthy person who works hard at your local club."

Nominations for the IFA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards are open until 9th August. To nominate a grassroots football club or volunteer please visit: https://www.irishfa.com/irish-fa-foundation/grassroots-and-youth-football/mcdonalds-programmes/mcdonalds-ifa-grassroots-football-awards

Belfast Telegraph