THERE is absolutely no doubt that one of our most important National Game Awards, year on year, is the Buildbase Unsung Hero.
That’s because we know – guaranteed – that whoever is honoured at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday May 14 will have a genuine love and passion for both their individual club and Non-League football in general.
This is certainly not an award for your typical one-season wonders!
The Unsung Hero really does separate the men from the boys and the women from the girls.
The process for this NGA is quite straightforward.
Unlike most, it’s not a straight vote – we want you to nominate the person in the Non-League game who you believe we cannot ignore, and who deserves recognition.
That person with decades of service behind them, maybe someone who has run your club’s busy tea hut singlehandedly for years without missing a game or the manager who washes the kit, puts out the corner flags, fills out all the forms – and then picks the team!
To dedicate a large chunk of your life to a club is something that definitely deserves recognition.
This is why we decided to hand the award to Corinthian-Casuals supporters Brian and Roger Phillips at last year’s event.
The twin brothers have been club stalwarts ever since the club moved to Tolworth 30 years ago.
They’ve done everything from laying down the terraces at King George’s Field to putting up the stands. They run repairs on the ground and sweep the changing rooms.
And to top it off, despite their senior years, the siblings both cycle the 11 miles to and from their home in Sunbury to Casuals at least five times a week. Over 30 years, it’s estimated they have covered 156,000 miles!
“What don’t we do on matchdays?” joked Roger. “We even clean up the changing rooms afterwards.
“You don’t do this job because you want to win awards. You do it because you enjoy doing it and if we manage to keep Corinthian-Casuals alive, so be it.
“People don’t realise – even for a humble club like an Isthmian League club – how much work there is to do.”
The award certainly meant a lot to the Phillips brothers and there’s no doubt it will to whoever walks away with it this year.
We therefore need you to send in your nominations for your Unsung Hero!
Although we aim to cover as many grounds as we possibly can year on year, we can’t be in a thousand places all at once.
That’s why we are welcoming your input more than ever before as it’s our duty to ensure that the right person or people leave Stamford Bridge with their name engraved on the award this May. So if you know of someone who is the lifeblood of your local team or if you have heard about a special circumstance in which someone has gone out of their way for the good of their club then we certainly want to hear from you!
Each year we are sent in a number of inspiring stories, which demonstrate people’s love of the game and we can’t wait for this season!
HOW TO VOTE
Please email email@example.com to cast your vote or use #NGAvotes on twitter
or via post to
The Non-League Paper, Tuition House,
St George’s Road, Wimbledon SW19 4EU