The finalists for the prestigious People’s Award at the McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards for 2023 have been announced.
Jude McLaughlin (Dungiven Celtic) and Keith Hall (Irish FA ABC grassroots volunteer) are this year’s finalists and will each be hoping to be crowned as the national winner next month.
The winner of the People’s Award will be announced at the national awards ceremony and will be determined by the public through online votes via the Irish FA website.
Jude McLaughlin is a former Dungiven Celtic player who has recently volunteered his construction expertise and free time in the evenings and weekends to oversee major renovation works at the grassroots club, saving it thousands of pounds in the process.
Keith Hall is the Irish FA Small Sided Games Co-ordinator for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. For over 15 years he has worked tirelessly on the administration side of grassroots football across the borough to ensure more children have the opportunity to play football in a safe, inclusive and fun environment.
The annual McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards, which celebrate 23 years in Northern Ireland this year, recognise the unbelievable work and commitment of football clubs and volunteers who give up their time and make a long-lasting impact on young people and communities across Northern Ireland.
The national awards ceremony of the McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards will be held on Thursday 2 November at Belfast City Hall.
Northern Ireland legend and McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings said: "Without grassroots football volunteers none of this could happen.
“Through the years I have witnessed first-hand the significant impact that McDonald’s Fun Football has had, and continues to have, on the lives of young people in Northern Ireland.
“It was fantastic to see McDonald’s recently announcing that 250,000 children from across the UK had benefitted from Fun Football in less than a year since the new programme launched.”
Last year McDonald’s launched its new Fun Football programme, which will provide over one million five to 11-year-olds with the opportunity to enjoy free football coaching across the UK.
The programme will deliver over 10.5 million hours of Fun Football over the course of the next four years making it the largest grassroots participation programme in the UK. The programme will be delivered in collaboration with the Irish FA, Scottish FA, The Football Association of Wales and a network of national coaching providers in England.
2023 People’s Award finalists Jude McLaughlin (Dungiven Celtic) and Keith Hall (Irish FA ABC grassroots volunteer)
Online voting for the People’s Award will close on 27 October 2023, to place your vote complete the form below: