Football stalwart Neil Barber hailed by football legend Sir Geoff Hurst
NEIL Barber's voluntary work has been heralded by football legend Sir Geoff Hurst – after he scooped one of the The FA Community Awards' top prizes.
The 65-year-old from Grimsby will collect the prestigious Volunteer of the Year gong at Wembley on Friday, October 12 at the annual grassroots football awards ceremony.
And England 1966 World Cup winning hero, Hurst, will be amongst the stars in attendance at the glitzy bash.
The FA Community Awards, presented by McDonald's, recognise coaches, volunteers, clubs and leagues, across the country who dedicate their time to grassroots football.
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Barber, above, has been involved in community football for more than 25 years and founded West Marsh Community Centre Junior Football Club in 1999.
Since then, he has held several roles at the club, helping it to grow from one team to six, including four junior teams, one adult and one disability squad.
He has also worked hand-in-hand with local authorities and the police to run a Friday night inclusion session, to get youngsters off the streets and into sport.
Hurst, part of the judging panel and McDonald's director of football, said: "Neil embodies the spirit of a volunteer.
"His dedication to football in Lincolnshire is rightly recognised with this award, and his efforts with West Marsh are remarkable.
"I am looking forward to meeting Neil to express my congratulations on his award!"
Keep an eye on your Telegraph for an interview with Neil Barber about winning the FA's Volunteer of the Year award.