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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 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.

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has ruled out Paul Hurst returning to the club following his recent sacking by Ipswich Town.

More than 500 tickets have been donated for Ipswich Town’s home game against West Brom next Friday evening after one small act of kindness gained online momentum.

Toto Nsiala may currently find himself on the fringes of the Ipswich Town first-team but the central defender continues to make an impact off the field each and every week.

We’ve ranked the home kits of all 24 Championship teams. So who comes out on top?

Andre Dozzell has revealed his frustration as his return to action stalled earlier in the season but the teenager is now hungry for minutes on the field after returning to the first-team picture.

In past columns I have talked about a divide between athletes that earn large amounts of money, and those that do not, and how there is a movement in Ipswich to bring this sporting diversity together.

ANDY WARREN spoke to Ipswich Town No.2 Stuart Taylor about his journey from cleaning Paul Lambert’s boots at St Mirren to assisting him at Portman Road.

Striker Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick as Ipswich Town defeated QPR 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Playford Road this afternoon.

Trevoh Chalobah has been training with the full England squad today ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with the United States tomorrow night.

Jordan Graham is training with Oxford United after being given permission to move on by Ipswich Town.

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