Three players are in contention to be named PFA Player in the Community at The Football League Awards this weekend.For this award clubs were asked to nominate one player who has played the most significant part in supporting their club’s community programme during the 2014 calendar year. The three players who made it onto the shortlist are Hope Akpan of Reading, Leyton Orient's Elliot Omozusi and Danny Shittu of Millwall.
Judges were looking to recognise someone whose involvement has gone above and beyond that which would normally be expected of a professional player. This could be either across a broad range of community programmes or in support of one particular activity.
A spokesman for the PFA said: "The Professional Footballers’ Association are proud of the contributions made by current members in support of community and charitable initiatives. It is for this reason that we are once again pleased to sponsor the Player in the Community Award to recognise players’ achievements off the pitch, where a real difference and impact can be made in the heart of communities.
"As a recognition of the partnership between the PFA and The Football League, which is strengthened through combined initiatives in the fields of contracts, education and community work, the PFA would also like to raise awareness of this award to reflect the unique social responsibility programme in operation through football at all 72 clubs."
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the annual Football League Awards, which celebrates excellence on and off the pitch across The League’s 72 clubs. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Sunday evening.
Shortlist for PFA Player in the Community
Hope Akpan (Reading)
Hope volunteered to take the position of Social Inclusion Ambassador at Reading in 2014, becoming a frequent visitor to numerous projects throughout the local area.
Elliot Omozusi (Leyton Orient)
Eliott works regularly with vulnerable groups across East London and has more recently been involved in one-on-one mentoring with young people in the community.
Danny Shittu (Millwall)
Danny has embraced his role as an ambassador, not only for Millwall, but for football in general. He has been inducted into the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ Hall of Fame and named Millwall's PFA community champion.
2014: Reda Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday)
2013: Inigo Calderon (Brighton & Hove Albion)
2012: Tamika Mkandawire (Millwall)
2011: Darren Moore (Burton Albion)
2010: Zesh Rehman (Bradford City)
2009: Graeme Murty (Reading)