Unsung Chris is in the hunt for prize

Chris Byrne in the running

Chris Byrne in the running

First published in Sport

Chris Byrne has won the Outstanding Contribution to Community Football award in the North West and is now in the running to win the national People’s Award – but he needs your votes!

The 28-year-old earned the accolade in recognition for the work has has done after relaunching Ribchester Juniors FC in 2004.

Thanks to his hard work, the club has become vital to the local community.

Chris will now join eight other regional winners from across England who have been shortlisted for this year’s People’s Award voted for by the public – in the 2014 FA Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s.

For the last 12 years, Chris has been an inspirational member of Ribchester Football Club and his dedication to the club has been instrumental to its development.

He is involved in every cornerstone of the club as a devoted coach, fundraiser, news reporter, volunteer manager, tournament facilitator, pitch maintenance manager and junior coach mentor. Chris single-handedly re-launched the club when the senior team had folded by approaching friends, family and local professionals in Ribchester and persuaded them to help.

The club now provides football to over 80 members ranging from under 7s to open age adult football.

His involvement began at age 16, when he offered a group of youngster aspiring footballers informal developmental coaching.

They are now his current under 18s squad who have progressed from playing friendly fixtures to the Lune & District League, Central Lancashire Junior Football Leagues and Lancashire Sunday Football League.

  • Voting for The People’s Award is already open at www.thefa.com/yourgame and if Chris accumulates the most votes he will be announced as the winner at the 2014 Community Awards ceremony at Wembley on Sunday, August 10.

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