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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Suffolk ref Byrne collects national award at Wembley

PUBLISHED: 13:28 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:28 13 August 2018

George Byrne (left) receives his Match Official of the Year award from former Chelsea and England midfielder Dennis Wise. Picture: SUFFOLK FA

George Byrne (left) receives his Match Official of the Year award from former Chelsea and England midfielder Dennis Wise. Picture: SUFFOLK FA

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Suffolk referee George Byrne has spoken of his ‘immense feeling of pride’ after receiving his Match Official of the Year accolade in The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards, writes Nick Garnham.

George Byrne (left) receives his Match Official of the Year award on the Wembley pitch from former England striker Sir Geoff Hurst. Picture: BEN QUEENBOROUGHGeorge Byrne (left) receives his Match Official of the Year award on the Wembley pitch from former England striker Sir Geoff Hurst. Picture: BEN QUEENBOROUGH

The 26-year-old collected the award at the 2018 FA Community Shield match at Wembley Stadium in which Manchester City defeated Chelsea 2-1.

He was presented with his glass memento at the pre-match reception by ex-Chelsea and England midfielder Dennis Wise and then again on the pitch at half time by Sir Geoff Hurst.

George, who was put forward for the national awards as a county winner, said: “I didn’t need an award for something I enjoy doing, but the recognition has given me a feeling of immense pride.

“To receive any national award has got to be up there as one of the highest accolades I will achieve in my refereeing career.”

George, who was accompanied by his wife Abi and his parents, said of the day: “I thoroughly enjoyed it. They showed videos of all the award winners throughout the day and some of their stories were touching. The time, effort and passion these people put into grassroots football is phenomenal.”

The Mildenhall-based official is entering his 10th year as an official on the Bury & District Sunday League, after starting as a 17-year-old in 2009-10.

He is now a member of the league’s management committee as treasurer and mentors young referees and helps them take their first steps into adult football via the league.

George added: “I’d like to thank the committee and the teams of the Bury & District Sunday League for the support they’ve given me and to many other young referees making their first steps into the game.”

The Grassroots Football Awards, which are in their first year, recognise and celebrate the work of individuals and groups to instill The FA’s PRIDE values – Progressive, Respectful, Inclusive, Determined and Excellent – whilst making a positive difference in their club, league or local community.

Following receipt of over 2,900 nominations, The FA worked alongside respective County FAs to select winners in the local area. The list of regional recipients was then deliberated upon by a panel at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.

Next on manager Paul Hurst’s tick list... a home win.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history – and today includes a UEFA Cup win and a strike from fan favourite Micky Stockwell.

Paul Hurst is confident Freddie Sears can lead the line for Ipswich Town despite not fitting the traditional target-man mould.

Janoi Donacien spoke to the media this week and tackled a wide range of subjects, from his start to life in the Championship to his current work permit situation.

Two police officers could face court action relating to the death of former Ipswich Town striker Dalian Atkinson.

Paul Hurst does not expect to add a free agent striker to his squad and is happy to rely on Freddie Sears and Kayden Jackson as the Blues wait for Ellis Harrison to return to fitness.

Andre Dozzell is raring to go again following his England Under-20 debut, says Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst.

Tom Adeyemi is set to have an operation on his injured Achilles tendon.

Ipswich Town are monitoring a number of players, including captain Luke Chambers, following a bout of illness in the camp ahead of this weekend’s visit of QPR.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst spoke to the media this afternoon ahead of Saturday’s game with QPR.

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