More recognition for volunteer Neil Barber
NEIL Barber has been selected as an ambassador for the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations.
The 58-year-old, pictured, was named the FA's Volunteer of the Year in October for his work with West Marsh Community Centre Junior Football Club.
And he will take centre stage again tomorrow evening when the birthday celebrations are launched during a glitzy event at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London – the location for the original meeting of the FA's founding fathers in 1863.
Barber will be part of the presentation given by FA chairman David Bernstein, live on Sky Sports.
His story will be highlighted as a showcase for the work the organisation does at a grassroots level and the inspiring people that volunteer their time for the game.
Over the course of 2013, Barber will help showcase the work the organisation does. Being an FA150 ambassador will involve him attending a number of high-profile events.
Other ambassadors will include England internationals, past and present, and celebrities Olly Murs, Paddy McGuinness and Amir Khan.
Having founded West Marsh Community Centre JFC in 1999, Barber has helped the club prosper and achieve Charter Standard status.
There are now six teams within the club, comprising four junior, one adult and one disability side.
Working in partnership with Lincolnshire Sports Development and the police, he also operates Friday night inclusion sessions.
In addition, Barber secured Football Foundation funding towards a state-of-the-art 3G pitch for the club and runs regular Kick Racism out of Football events.
Tomorrow night's hour-long show – hosted by Sky Sports News presenters Simon Thomas and Hayley McQueen – will see famous faces from the world of football and beyond coming together to honour this landmark year.