About the Unsung Hero Award
This award seeks to recognise loyal and dedicated service behind the scenes at clubs. Judges will be looking for the member of club staff that is thought to have made the most significant contribution to their club. All club employees are eligible for this award, covering any role.
Norman Rimmington (Barnsley, Assistant Kitman)
Norman has been at Barnsley from 1945 until the present day, with the exception of four seasons. He started out at Oakwell as a goalkeeper who played in the War league before signing professional for Barnsley in 1946, and in his time has covered virtually every role at the club.
He has been first-team coach, caretaker manager, physio, assistant manager, groundsman, kitman and now works in the laundry at the ripe old age of 90. Norman has turned down better jobs to stay with 'his' club and is well-known and well-loved in footballing circles. He has quietly gone about his business, never seeking the limelight, and has been a friend and mentor to thousands of players, managers and staff.
Fred Woolven (Brighton & Hove Albion, Club Lottery Volunteer)
Fred has spent 38 season with Albion in total. While his contribution has been significant through all the years, this was never more important than during the financial challenges associated with the time that the club played at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium and the Withdean Stadium from the late 1990s to 2011.
It is not exaggerating to say that money raised from lotteries that Fred ran was integral to the survival of the club. Fred's role at this time required inspiring and cajoling his lottery agents to generate even greater income and their increased efforts were entirely due to their respect for Fred and their drive to help him, and thereby the club, to succeed.
Incredibly diligent, reliable and respected, nothing is too much effort for Fred and he has been known to drop everything to help his agents at a moment's notice. Having fully recovered from bowel cancer a few years ago, at 86 Fred continues to work as a volunteer on the club's lottery scheme and is an inspiration to all at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Frank Banks (Southend United, Community and Education Trust Volunteer)
Frank started at Southend United in 1958 as a 13-year-old and still remains an integral part of United's community operations to the present day - 55 years after he started at Roots Hall. Frank signed as a player for the Shrimpers when he was 17 and eventually retired at the age of 34, having played for Southend and Hull City (who voted him their greatest-ever right-back). He has fulfilled the roles of youth team coach, first-team coach, assistant manager and manager at Southend, before becoming the club's first Football in the Community Officer.
He retired from that role at the age of 63 but continues to remain a vital part of the Community and Education Trust, while he gives up numerous hours of his time to support the Trust's work across areas such as sports participation, social inclusion, health and education.
2013: Billy Neil (Millwall, Commercial Sales Representative)
2012: Paul Bradley (Preston North End, Stadium Facilities Manager)
2011: Jim Thompson (Burnley, Turnstile Operator)