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Wednesday 20 Oct 2021
Regional winners of McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards revealed

Patricia McCullough Ards Rangers picks up the McDonald's Irish FA Football For All Award from Northern Ireland legend Pat Jennings 

The regional winners of the McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards for 2021 have been announced ahead of the national awards ceremony next month.

The annual McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards, which celebrate 21 years in Northern Ireland this year, recognise the incredible work and commitment of football clubs and volunteers who give up their time and make a long-lasting impact on young people and communities here.

In this year’s awards there are six categories: Young Volunteer of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Wes Gregg Coach of the Year, Club of the Year, Football For All Award and the People’s Award.

Twenty-three regional winners, including clubs, coaches and volunteers, were presented with their awards at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park by Northern Ireland legend and McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings.

Congratulations to all of our regional award winners, who all work tirelessly in the background of their clubs to keep the local grassroots game alive

Pat insisted the awards provide a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work that takes place at all levels of the grassroots game in Northern Ireland.

He said: “Congratulations to all of our regional award winners, who all work tirelessly in the background of their clubs to keep the local grassroots game alive.

“The McDonald’s Fun Football programme gives young people across Northern Ireland the chance to keep fit, healthy and active as well as engage with others in the community. However, it wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support of our local grassroots heroes, and I can’t wait to celebrate with them in person at the national awards ceremony next month.”

Through the McDonald’s Fun Football programme more than 75,000 children across Northern Ireland have benefitted from 250,000 hours of coaching, games and fun.

McDonald’s recently celebrated the huge milestone of providing five million hours of free Fun Football to children in the UK a year ahead of its 2022 goal, before vowing to offer 1.5 million more hours in the next 12 months.

The 2021 regional winners in Northern Ireland are as follows:

Young Volunteer of the Year – Adam Carson (Castle Juniors, Bangor), Anton Ferguson (Eglinton Eagles, Co Londonderry), Cora Maxwell (Belfast Swifts), Ryleigh McComb (Valley Rangers, Co Down), Andrew Beattie (Mountjoy United Juniors, Co Tyrone).

Volunteer of the Year – Kevin Boyle (Sion Swifts, Co Tyrone), Noelle McMahon (Armagh City), Jahswill Emmanuel (Multi-Ethnic Sports & Cultures NI, Belfast), Chris Reid (Irvinestown Wanderers, Co Fermanagh), Lee Scott (Bangor Young Men Academy, Co Down).

Wes Gregg Coach of the Year – Seanna McGuinness (Andersonstown Community, Belfast), David Ferguson (Don Bosco’s, Derry-Londonderry), Mark Emerson (Ballinamallard United), Philip Watson (Ridgeway Rovers, Dundonald), Dean Craig (Hillsborough Boys).

Club of the Year – Andersonstown Community, Ards Rangers Juniors (Co Down), Mid-Ulster Ladies (Cookstown), NFC Kesh, Tristar Boys (Derry-Londonderry).

Football For All Award – Patricia McCullough (Ards Rangers).

People’s Award – Hilbert Willis (Loughgall, Co Armagh), Dominic Dewart (Chimney Corner, Co Antrim).

See below for picture gallery featuring the award winners who were able to attend the ceremony. McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings and McDonald’s franchisee John McCollum presented the awards.