David Pyke, the long-serving secretary of both Consett AFC and Consett Juniors, has today been honoured by The FA and McDonald’s in the national Grassroots Football Awards.
He has been named Volunteer of the Year for the Durham FA area for the 2019-20 season.
Dave – who has been first team secretary for 13 years, and the administrative rock of Consett Juniors for much longer – didn’t even know he had been nominated until he received the letter to say he’d won.
The citation said: “In a season which was unfortunately cut short as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards celebrate and recognise the inspiring work that has taken place throughout the 2019-20 season. This is our opportunity to celebrate Durham County’s grassroots football heroes.
“The FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards are for people who make a positive difference. It’s our way to celebrate the fantastic individuals who put their heart and soul into the grassroots game across Durham FA and say a huge ‘thank you’ to the incredible volunteers who inspire us all.”
As well as arranging first-team games and being responsible for player registrations and matchday admin, Dave liaises with the coaches and secretaries of all our teams from four-year-olds to over-40s. He even gets to watch games sometimes (when he’s not acting as ballboy – see above).
He joined Consett Juniors as an U12s coach in 1994 with ex-Consett player Barry Poole. They won the league in their first two seasons and were with the team all the way through to U18s, with a few of the lads tasting first team football under Colin Carr.
He became secretary of Consett Juniors in 2000, leading the club to become a Charter Standard Club in 2001 and Community Club in 2006.
He became secretary of the first team too in 2007, and his ambition for the juniors and seniors to come under the same umbrella became possible when we moved to the new stadium in 2013.
Consett AFC as a whole was also named as runner-up in the grassroots club of the year category, behind South Tyneside Ability Football Club, which provides a place for people with disabilities to play the game.
Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell said: “We are delighted to receive recognition for our ongoing efforts to build a real community club around the facility we have at Belle View. It’s a mark of everyone’s efforts.
“A club is only as good as the people who run it, and in Dave the first team and the juniors have one of the best volunteers in grassroots football anywhere, not just in County Durham.”
“As a player, coach and administrator he has given more than 50 years’ service to the game. This award is richly deserved.”