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Bournemouth's John Harriss receives Tokio Marine Unsung Hero high commendation

24 March 2013

AFC Bournemouth Referee Liaison Officer John Harriss has received a high commendation for the Tokio Marine Unsung Hero Award at The Football League Awards 2013.

John collected the commendation at the gala ceremony at The Brewery, London, on Sunday evening in front of over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry. This year there were a total of 17 awards with 34 clubs shortlisted for honours.

The overall award was won by Millwall's Billy Neil with Oxford United's Peter Rhoades-Brown also receiving a high commendation.

Now in his 80s, John has worked at Bournemouth for 43 years and during his time at the club he has seen 16 managers come and go. Following a 25-year spell as head groundsman, John retired from the position in 2007 to start a new role as the club's Referee Liaison Officer and dedicates countless hours to service and attendance at every first, reserve and development match.

When assessing the category, judges looked for someone they felt had gone above and beyond the call of duty and added that extra special bit of devotion to their club.

Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football League, said: "The Football League Awards 2013 has given us another opportunity to celebrate success at League clubs both on and off the pitch. It gives us the chance to reward those who have achieved fantastic results throughout the year. I would like to congratulate tonight's winners and all those who were nominated."

Other notable winners on the night included Watford's Matej Vydra, who walked away with the npower Championship Player of the Year Award. The npower League 1 and npower League 2 Player of the Year Awards went to AFC Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie and Port Vale's Tom Pope respectively.

Peter Shilton OBE received the prestigious Contribution to League Football Award. Previous winners include Shrewsbury Town manager Graham Turner, Crewe Alexandra Director of Football Dario Gradi MBE and PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor OBE.

To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of Award categories, please visit

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