Pat Jennings lends a helping hand as local clubs celebrate success

Pat Jennings with members of Clooney Soccer celebrating their recent success.
Pat Jennings with members of Clooney Soccer celebrating their recent success.

Northern Ireland goalkeeping legend, Pat Jennings, has visited grassroots football clubs from Derry to Sion Mills to present McDonald’s Irish FA Regional Community Awards.

Local community footballing heroes have been honoured as part of the awards for the great work they do in championing football and supporting their local community clubs.

Pat Jennings with Clare Wright and representatives from Trojans FC celebrating her success.

Pat Jennings with Clare Wright and representatives from Trojans FC celebrating her success.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal player, who is also McDonald’s Head of Northern Ireland Football, visited Clooney Soccer and Trojans F.C. to present them with Regional Community Awards.

Clooney Soccer has received an Accredited Club of the Year Regional Community Award for the work they do to make football fun for young children who are just taking up the game.

Clare Wright from Trojans F.C. was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Regional Community Award for her hard work and dedication she brings to creating strong foundations at the club.

Speaking about the Regional Community Award winners, Pat Jennings said: “I love the opportunity each year to travel throughout Northern Ireland to present Regional Community Awards to hardworking, committed and passionate local grassroots heroes who do so much for local communities.

“The McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards is our way of saying thank you to the coaches, clubs and volunteers who give up their time to help young footballers across Northern Ireland to shine.

“I look forward to catching up with Clooney Soccer and Trojans FC as well as all the other Regional Community Award winners at the National Awards Ceremony in Derry in November.”

Clare Wright gave her thoughts on picking up a regional award.

She said: “I feel privileged today to collect this award on behalf of everyone at Trojans FC from Pat.

“I look forward to meeting the big man again in November at the McDonald’s Irish FA National Community Awards and hopefully I might have a chance of picking up the National Award too!”

The Irish FA Regional Football Heroes Awards programme is now in its sixth year.

It was set up to honour grassroots clubs and the volunteers who give up countless hours to ensure that football takes place every week throughout Northern Ireland.

There are six categories including, The Respect Award, Volunteer of the Year, Coach of the Year, and The People’s Award, which celebrates an individual’s outstanding contribution to grassroots football.