Well Done Chris! Ribchester's Community Champion Triumphs at FA Awards

Chris ByrneCongratulations are due to Ribchester's 'Community Champion', Chris Byrne, who was recently awarded the highly prestigious People's Choice Award at the FA Community Award in London for his work at Ribchester Football Club.

For over 12 years Chris has been an inspirational member of the club and has been instrumental to its development. He is involved in every cornerstone of the club as a devoted coach, fundraiser, news reporter, volunteer manager, tournament facilitator, pitch maintenance manager and junior coach mentor. 

Chris single-handedly re-launched the club when the senior team had folded by approaching friends, family and local professionals in Ribchester and persuading them to help. The club now provides football opportunities for over 80 members ranging from under 7s to open age adult football.

His involvement in the club began at age 16, when he offered a group of youngsters informal developmental football opportunities. They have now become his current under 18s squad who have progressed from playing friendly fixtures to the Lune & District League, Central Lancashire Junior Football Leagues and Lancashire Sunday Football League.

He trains his squad every week, motivating, praising and truly caring for the young people he has become a role model to. He organises tournaments for the club and has been privileged to see some of the young people he has coached progress to academy and semi-professional football – a credit to his coaching attributes.

Despite a significant injury which has required surgery and Chris’ demanding job which often requires him to work away from home, he has never missed a game or the opportunity to praise his squad for their commitment and contribution.

In addition to being a fantastic coach, Chris has used his leadership and motivational skills to support other volunteers who are involved in the club and mentors junior members of the club in coaching, helping them to attain confidence, knowledge and experience.

Chris’ major contribution to youth football, his club, the local community and to the young men who are his players deserves recognition, as he continues to be instrumental to the club’s significant successes and growth.

Well done Chris - a richly deserved award!