Lancashire FA Red Roses

Our search for our Red Rose FC Squad is officially over!

We're excited to announce our final 16 Red Rose FC squad members plus our 2 Red Rose FC Mascots! – Ordinary People who have done Extraordinary Things. It is an honour and a privilege to share with you what their nominators had to say about them.

Lancashire FA are extremely proud of our Red Roses Squad. All have been truly wonderful to read and gives us an insight to how our football community have dealt with the impact of Covid-19.

We look forward to celebrating YOU and giving us an opportunity to say THANK YOU. Invites to follow to all our Extraordinary Guests!

Dalton Gearing - Layton Juniors Football Club

What the nominator had to say:

At the very start of the pandemic last year my son Dalton Gearing who’s 10 years old came to me and his Dad with an idea he wanted to give away all his old toys and books for free to local children whose parents may be furloughed, bored or sad and missing friends a d family due to Covid-19, he wanted to make them smile with a new toy or book to read. After several suggestions he started taking totally voluntary donations for the amazing NHS doctors and nurses at our local hospital Blackpool Victoria Hospital, however he made sure no child went without and he told every child to take something. He did this every single day weather permitting until he went back to school in September and he raised an Incredible £1760 in total. His Football club Layton Juniors supported throughout his fundraising efforts and were incredibly proud of him he was awarded the club ambassador award which only 2 are awarded each year at presentation.

Luke Thompson - Fulwood Amateurs

What the nominator had to say:

I want to nominate my Grandson Luke Thompson aged 13. Luke really missed playing his beloved football with his team and friends and his job as a ball boy at Preston North End. He didn’t want his own mental health to suffer so set himself challenges through lockdown to keep active. He made the whole family take part in the 2.6 challenge, ran 10k to raise awareness of knife crime and decided in November 2020 to RUN 5k every day for 30 days to raise money for the Charity Cash for Kids to buy presents for children who otherwise wouldn’t get any. Through all three lockdowns he has made sure that me and his 2 Grandads have had everything we need each day. He did shopping and doorstep drops for us all as part of his daily exercise. He helped organise a VE Day socially distanced party for his elderly neighbours. He arranged family zoom quizzes to keep us entertained. When lockdown rules eased last summer, he did jobs in my garden. He calls me every day he is my very own Superhero.

Phil Tinsley - Lostock St Gerards

What the nominator had to say:

Throughout the pandemic Phil has been a constant help for everyone involved with our club. Always at the end of the phone and sending constant updates out via email. He has worked tirelessly down to putting plans in place for a car park and second pitch at our ground, Once we were allowed back down to the ground, he was inspirational in putting those plans in to place, with boundless energy and a can do attitude. Since then, he has been down at the ground every day to ensure that everything was done ahead of contractors to beginning work on the new pitch. His efforts over the past twelve months have meant that we have the people and resources to not only continue as a club but move forward.

Mic Parish - Bolton Futsal Club

What the nominator had to say:

Mic has delivered countless free online coaching sessions and kept 100s of children active and his enthusiasm to engage kids during the past 12months is commendable, both within his own club and to a wider audience. He has been ready and raring to go once restrictions have eased and is now out coaching 5 nights a week as a volunteer. His commitment to proving opportunities to children & women and all ages is second to none.

Steve McGarry – Furness Rovers FC

What the nominator had to say:

Steve has been nominated for his endless enthusiasm pre and during the covid pandemic. His passion for the development and wellbeing of the children in my opinion is unparalleled. He undertakes training for his Furness Rovers Royals and Knights teams each Tuesday and Thursday weekly followed by a match at the weekend. If the match is postponed, he puts on additional training at the weekend and in addition to this arranges futsal games on a Sunday too. On the other weekdays he trains the Barrow AFC development squad. Steve deserves the recognition as his teams continually from strength to strength. The reason is no matter what the opposition or occasion he ensures EVERY player gets the same game time each week. He has embedded approach throughout the club and every player accepts this approach. Whilst his coaching skills has seen a team of players flourish Steve continues to treat everyone the same and he is only concerned about the long-term benefits of football for children rather than the short-term successes. His U14 team has been coached in a manner that football is a team game and he has encouraged the players from a young age to play out from defence. This approach resulted in the team getting overrun for a number of years, but the coaching has now reaped dividends. Away from football Steve has organised numerous family events such as camping trips, Christmas parties, days away and family it’s a knockout! During the lockdown he encouraged the children to remain active by organising team events many of which were recorded and shared to the group Facebook page. This involved family games at the weekends, running a couple of times per week and skill challenges such as dribbling, keep ups, cross bar challenge. To maintain the enthusiasm, he also dropped off prizes at children’s houses and he has helped families who had to isolate. I cannot commend Steve enough for everything he has done for my child and I know other parents feel the same!

Lostock Hall Juniors Football Club

What the nominator had to say:

As a whole club, LHJFC stepped up during the first lockdown and as well as players and their families donating items to local food banks, the club helped NWAS set up a welfare vehicle at Royal Preston Hospital. Providing hundreds of cardboard cups, cup holders, stirrers, a boiler and then stocking and maintaining stock of hot and cold beverages, milk, chocolate (including over 100 Easter eggs for staff and their families), crisps, fresh fruit, sweets, biscuits etc. Some coaches put on online coaching sessions and quizzes for members to practice in their gardens/yards/homes and all coaches regularly checked in with members of their teams, ensuring that all families were ok. The club mascot ‘Buddy’, participated in the St. Catherine’s Hospice Santa Dash, raising over £270. He was joined by other members (players) from the club, who raised their own amounts. LHJFC also continued to promote mental and physical health at home and shared various posts such as the FAs Footballs Staying Home activities and Lancashire FA Activity Pack.

Warren Jones and John Root - Lancashire Spitfires Girls Club

What the nominator had to say:

They have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep all girls and parents’ spirits lifted. Putting on Zoom football sessions for the girls as well as dressing up and delivering Christmas presents to all team members. They also did amazing charity work delivering chocolate and essentials to nursing homes and working with the homeless in Manchester. Amazing club with such passion and care for their girls.

Craig Ward, Mark Wenman & Simon Smith - Bispham Junior Football Federation (BJFF)

What the nominators had to say:

Mark has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that training and matches have been COVID safe. He has motivated the boys throughout and has kept parents informed at every step. He has risk assessed and sacrificed his own time to meet with other club execs and develop/implement guidance. He developed videos throughout covid and set the lads challenges to ensure that they kept fit ...and sane!

Mark has worked so hard behind the scenes to make sure my boy can play his games in a Covid safe way, he is also the guidance person for BJFF as a whole, he does all this whilst coaching 2 teams and working full time.

From the moment COVID-19 restricted our grassroots clubs to continue playing the game the children love, Mark worked hard behind the scenes in ensuring a safe return. He works as an operations manager for NWAS and during working hours was part of the discussions in place with the government on dealing with the pandemic. Because of his working role, he was able to bring to the club the guidance’s the club should put in place and what measures the club needed to follow in order to have the kids back playing football. He created several risk assessments for the rest of the coaches to follow, advised on how a new way of training should be adapted, giving the kids the opportunity to take part in a safe environment to have fun while following the no-contact rules. Mark put his IT skills into motion creating an online booking form for the club’s development children to be able to attend in small groups while following the new rules and ensuring the club had a record of all attendance. He ensured all the coaches had information sheets and instructions on staying Covid safe when training and games resumed. As a thank you to the NHS, Mark approached Macron, the clubs kit supplier and arranged for a one-off kit for the club to wear for a season with “Thankyou NHS” logo on the front. A donation from every kit will be given to our local hospital, Blackpool Victoria, in the near future, something close to Mark given his dedicated working role. Mark started at the club in 2014 as a parent on the side-lines for his oldest son, now 14years old. It didn’t take him long to step in and help coach the youngsters, completing his FA level one and then the FA level 2 coaching awards. He is now Vice chairman of the club and continues to coach not only his oldest sons U14 team but also his youngest U11 team as well. Mark continues to ensure all guidelines and risk assessments are up to date and followed within the club and has shown a great deal of dedication and hard work, especially behind the scenes through some very trying times.

In the lead up to COVID Craig was the club chairman and, due to being made redundant at work, had to step down from his role and concentrate on family and personal stresses. COVID then hit and like many other clubs, times were difficult. With the lifting of rules after the first lockdown BJFF had to find new ways of working, writing and implementing new risk assessments. Enforcing social distancing during training sessions, signing off session plans and many more elements were needed in order to allow 400+ registered players to return to football safely. Craig stepped up to the plate giving an unquantifiable number of voluntary hours and got this all done and took on the role of a covid officer before it was even suggested by the FA. I know that football would not have returned to BJFF as quickly as it did, and most certainly not as safely as it did, without this work from Craig. Craig has continued doing all the work around covid, updating risk assessments, and liaising with the league all year. Whilst ensuring kids at Bjff still are able to play football, Craig has had to also seek employment, continue to manage his own football team, support his youngest son following spinal surgery and most recently nurse his eldest son after finding a brain tumor. Personally, as a paramedic I have seen many acts of heroism daily. However, I believe Craig’s many acts during covid have enabled so many children and adults to participate in the sport they love. I’m my opinion Craig is a true covid hero.

BJFF have made a difference in the community during the recent pandemic. Following the initial outbreak and show of support for the NHS we decided to dedicate our 2020/21 kit to our NHS heroes. The home shirt designed with a "Thank You NHS" message on the front with £5 from all shirt sales going to support the NHS. Whilst the children were in lockdown various managers and coaches put on free online zoom sessions to keep the children active with plenty of messaging via Facebook getting fun challenges, puzzle packs and activities to parents to share with their children. Over the Easter break we collected 421 Easter Eggs and distributed them to Sure Start to ensure children across the Fylde could enjoy Easter. Over Christmas we collected 10 huge hampers full of toys and presents and donated them to Blackpool Police who identified families in need over the festive break ensuring that they got something to open on Christmas morning. Our members organised a Santa comes to Bispham event where Santa rode around our Village waving to Children to raise their spirits during the pandemic. Predator Re-Boot was launched to help parents provide new football boots during the difficult year. Parents could swap old boots that children had grown out of during the pandemic with other donated boots for a small fee that raised money for Brian House Children's Hospice. Players then had access to football boots when they returned to sport after lockdown. We regularly published mental health and support organisation messages on our pages to ensure anyone struggling in silence could get help. All the while providing football opportunities to over 500 children ensuring that we kept up to date with the latest covid regulations. Generated a new web site to enable parents to digitally consent to their child participating in sport and reading our Covid messages. Players returned with socially distanced training devised by our wonderful coaches to allow children to train. We also created match day Covid monitors to undertake the task of recording attendees, cleaning equipment at half time and ensuring everyone stayed socially distant. Whilst ensuring track and trace posters were erected around the pitches and hand sanitisation stations readily available.

Mark and Simon have done everything in their power to keep the boys active and match fit throughout lockdown. Mark and Simon are true heroes to the boys. Mark is also a paramedic and has worked tirelessly for the NHS as well as working behind the scenes to make sure the boys could get back playing football as safely as possible.
Mark is a truly selfless individual, caring, passionate, with a unique way of being able to communicate with people of all ages. The dedications to his club and team is commendable. From being a parent, watching his sons on the side-lines, to now coaching both BJFF'S U11's and U14's teams, he is also Vice chairman of the club. When COVID-19 stopped grassroots football, Mark worked hard behind the scenes in ensuring a safe return for our children, coaches, and spectators. Working as an Operations Manager for NWAS, he was able to bring guidance’s and measures to the club, that needed to be put in place, to have our children back playing football, safely! As a thank you to the NHS, Mark approached Macron, the club's kit supplier, and arranged for a one-off kit to be worn with “Thank you NHS” logo on the front. A donation from every kit will be given to our local hospital, Blackpool Victoria, in the near future, something close to Mark given his dedicated working role. Mark continues to ensure all guidelines and risk assessments are up to date and followed within the club and has shown a great deal of dedication and hard work, especially behind the scenes through these difficult times. Deserving of recognition for the time and effort he tirelessly gives to our community.

Mark worked tirelessly to ensure not just my sons’ team but other squads and even squads from other grassroots clubs could return to training ASAP in a Covid safe environment. His transferable skills and knowledge as a paramedic have been paramount to the success of reopening grassroots football for hundreds of kids. My thanks to him on behalf of me, my son and my family. Mark is undoubtedly worthy of receiving a red rose Covid hero award. He has such a calming influence he has even supported my family personally, away from football pitch as we unfortunately suffered a bereavement during Covid times by providing us with guidance and emotional support. Forever grateful.
As a joint manager with mark of the u14’s blades at the club, I have personally witnessed his unselfish support of the club from him through his profession as a senior Lancashire paramedic. He has been leading and instrumental in the clubs COVID-19 strategy over the past 2 seasons, setting up website questionnaires, links and web pages, informing the committee and coaches on best practice, as well as coaching and managing the squad, all this work was and still is being done on a voluntary basis whilst continuing to work on the front line in the NHS in such a challenging and stressful time. The club had been handled brilliantly in this area and we have had the most up to date information and data from Mark to help our players as much as possible. The club would have been nowhere near as successful in its covid approach and strategy without Mark’s professional support and advice. We are indebted to him He really is a Covid hero!

Sienna & Isabella Longden - Bury FC Boys & Girls

What the nominator had to say:

Isabella and Sienna have been put forward for this award because during lockdown they raised over £1000 for the NHS. Easter 2020 we ran a few competitions at the Club to keep the players occupied during lockdown. One was to design a football kit. We had some fabulous designs, but one stood out from the rest as it was so appropriate to the current climate the country found itself in. All our designs were put on our social media to choose a winner. A manufacturer saw Sienna's and Isabella's design and where so impressed they got in touch to see if they could produce it for us. Within a week the kit went on sale with all the profits going to our local NHS. Sales went through the roof with tops being bought up and down the country. We even had pictures of a doctor in London wearing one, the Manager of Plymouth Argyle bought one for his daughter and lots of others who sent fabulous messages of support to the Club. This is a great achievement for the girls, and we are very proud of their efforts.

Alexia Hogg - Bury FC Boys & Girls

What the nominator had to say:

 Lexi was put forward for her efforts to raise funds for the NHS. Her goal was to complete 9000 kick ups before her 9th birthday and had a couple of weeks to do it in. Lexi excelled and did kick ups every day and managed to complete 18100 raising £904 for the NHS. Her achievements were recognised by BBC Radio Manchester who nominated her for their Young Achievers award (she finished runner up), she even received a recorded message from Mille Turner from Manchester United. The whole Club were very proud of Lexi's achievement and she inspired lots of the other players to join in some of the challenges that were being set by the Club

The Leyland & Chorley Sporting Memories Groups

What the nominator had to say:

The joint Leyland & Chorley Sporting Memories Groups have hosted 60 weekly 1 hour Sporting Memories Sessions on Zoom since March 2020 with special guest speakers from a wide range of sporting backgrounds & interests Volunteers have also provided regular phone call support for their group members & delivered 40 copies of the popular Sporting Pinks each month to their members in the Chorley & Leyland areas in addition to supporting 6 people who were referred to our Chorley SM Group by the Chorley Council Social Prescribing Team On St Georges Day 2021 the Chorley Sporting Memories Group volunteers delivered a total of 36 afternoon tea gift boxes to their members , Former Chorley FC Players from the 1960’s along with 10 donations to the Chorley based ‘Friends for You’ community support group.

Paul Hardman, Wayne Beck, Paul Davies - Creative Football

What the nominator had to say:

Where to start? This organisation has done wonders for the local community especially since the start of the pandemic, this included the organisation of collecting sorting and delivering 'care packages' to its local communities, organising regular online zoom sessions to keep in communication with its followers and utilising activities such as quizzes to help encourage interest, adapting their sessions at short notice to meet everchanging government advice, arranged for supporters to attend mental health online courses and just generally being there for its many (in its hundreds) supporters across the local community during one of the hardest times ever even when these were suffering with their own problems they still looked to help everyone else.

Luke Evans - Squires Gate FC

What the nominator had to say:

Luke has almost single handily kept Squires Gate going throughout the pandemic. As well as being the 1st team manager Luke has taken on a multitude of other tasks over the last 12 months to keep the club in existence. Initially he purchased 12 hand sanitisers & installed them around the ground and painted 2 metre markers around the perimeter fence for social distancing purposes - this was so that we could return after the first lockdown. He has negotiated several sponsorship deals which brought in much needed income to pay overheads & installed sponsors board around the ground. He installed new pods in the dressing room and painted them massively improving the dressing rooms. As the groundsman was self-isolating Luke took on the responsibility of maintaining the pitch and learn to use the tractor to mow & roll the pitch. When out perimeter wall was vandalised Luke arranged with a local builder to repair the damage. He has also organised a soccer camp during school holidays at the ground which has again brought much needed revenue to the club. As the club manger he took 1 to 1 sessions & then groups of 6 when the guidance allowed. There is no doubt that without Luke's massive contribution that Squires Gate would not have survived the pandemic and we are all immensely proud and grateful for his magnificent efforts over the last 12 months.

Ribchester Rovers Football Club & Ribchester Careline- Tracey Ormisher & Lorraine Orr

What the nominator had to say:

“Ribchester Rovers FC” a village club in Lancashire organised a village Emergency meeting back at the beginning of the Pandemic in April 2020 inviting and teaming up with village organisations, and from there they developed “Ribchester Careline” to support the community through the Covid -19 Pandemic, in so many ways, including; Shopping Deliveries/ newspaper delivery/ Dedicated helpline / prescription collection & delivery from nearest Town's straight to the door steps and much more!! They have delivered free donated flowers around the village and outlying parish’s, Donated Easter eggs to local families, Stone painting/stone hiding adventures, for all of the village’s children, not just the 150 young club players!! Collection of and delivery of food parcels and also delivers the same to Preston & Blackburn food Banks. The dedicated help - line is operated and covered by volunteers 8am-6pm every day, 7 days a week and can be accessed in the outside hours quite regularly. They now have more than 100 volunteers, and everyone involved are working to support the vulnerable/ self-isolating members along with and including everyone else in the community. No job too big or too small and a there’s a chat volunteer group if people just need to chat a while! It is a fantastic effort from every organisation & volunteers and this support group (Initiated by the Football Club, with 2 x members on the overall Careline Committee) will continue. They have also created an Outreach programme, for volunteers to regularly support their own sections of the community, be it street to street or in the surrounding parish’s. Check Ribchester Careline out & Ribchester Rovers FC on Facebook. The club has had on-line training sessions for all youth age groups, The food banks are further, still being supported in East & Central Lancashire on a regular basis“ The greatest success story must be when the Club secretary Tracy Ormisher, buddied up with a 95yrs young lady resident and has supported the lady to have a stair lift fitted, free of charge by our Local authority Ribble Valley Borough Council, allowing the lovely lady resident to safely get up and down her stairs, offering much relied upon freedom around her own home , where she lives alone. They remain very good friends some 15 months later and now rely on each other for much friendship, including days out, jigsaw time, cup of Tea, company, support. There are many more successes, to celebrate and everyone in Ribchester and the surrounding parishes have newsletters with all of the contact details and information on support whenever they need support? The football club were recognised along with Ribchester Careline, by PayPal who were astonished at the great work being carried out in the Village and Tracy Ormisher, the club secretary met Marcus Rashford of Manchester United & England on a surprise Zoom call and the club was congratulated on its on-going work, along with Careline. The club received a reward & Marcus invited Tracy to St George’s park on a date in the future, again as a thank you for everything the club and the villagers have done over the challenging last year and beyond. The Careline committee have done marvellous work, every one of them and the 100 + volunteers, headed and guided by our marvellous Careline Chair-person Lorraine Orr. Many of the volunteers are from the football club & that includes, adult male/ female squad players, committee members/ coaches/parents and youth players! What a fantastic success story, Bringing the community together!!

Mark Oldham - Brinscall Juniors

What the nominator had to say:

In March 2020, just at the start of the COVID pandemic, Mark was made redundant from work and so had plenty of time on his hands. Rather than just hanging around whilst looking for work, he signed up to be an NHS GoodSAM responder, helping those in the local community that were shielding. When the FA asked for every club to assign a COVID Officer, Mark volunteered himself for the role (he’s also the Chairman and CWO of Brinscall Juniors). He then set about researching and then writing and implementing all the compliance documentation that meant that the kids that play for Brinscall were amongst the first to start playing again once restrictions eased. Finally, when Mark was informed of a break in by vandals and then subsequent fire at neighbouring Cherrybrook FC, he took it upon himself to help to put this right. For the next month, he raised funds on behalf of Cherrybrook as they had around £2000 worth of damage and as with all grassroots clubs, limited funds to cover this. When he finished his one-man crusade, he’d raised £3797.50 and helped restore some faith in humanity back at Cherrybrook FC. Mark is a volunteer Coach for Brinscall, he takes multiple sessions across different age groups each week and spends every Sunday coaching his team, often stepping into referee when the need arises, and always waives his fee.

Nicola Gregson - Darwen Girls

What the nominators had to say:

Nicola does everything to keep girls safe, including Zoom junior committee meetings and organised Covid-safe banners, with all info; not just for Darwen but the blue star and glen side. She ensured girls were busy during lockdown and did mental health awareness with them, ensuring they were all well during lockdown.

Nicola set up Darwen Girls but during COVID put healthy living games and competitions on to keep the girls going, always talking to girls on Zoom and ensuring the girls' mental health was good. She was also ensuring everyone was on Track and Trace, only allowing one parent at all games to make sure the girls were safe at all times. The girls sent videos of them doing each session so even when we had no football, they had a task to keep them active.

Our TWO Red Rose FC Mascots are: 

Chris Doherty – Lancashire FA 

In common with most colleagues, Chris was furloughed in March 2020 as the country entered its first national lockdown. Chris, who was a medic and welfare officer in the armed forces for 25 years and who was already a Community First Responder for the NHS, was not one to stay idle for long. He immediately volunteered to help assemble PPE packs at Bury Fire Station, where his team put together 20,000 packs per month. Once the vaccination programme came on stream, Chris was trained to deliver jabs but before he could complete a single vaccination, he was commandeered by North West Ambulance Service as a Paramedic Emergency Service assistant, offering front-line, “blue light” cover to stricken members of the public.

We are proud of Chris and his public-spirited efforts throughout this lengthy pandemic period. So much so in fact we have appointed him one of our team mascots for Lancashire Red Roses FC, a team of volunteers from grassroots football who have gone the extra mile during the last year or so to support vulnerable people, public services, their local communities, or vulnerable children in their football clubs.

John Treacy – Lancashire FA

John Treacy has been working at Lancashire FA for over 13 years now in predominately the League Development Officers role. During this time, John has supported our leagues and clubs through the FA’s England Football programme, helping to develop leagues structures and pathways, creating the right environment for player development in Lancashire. John has been at the forefront of development football in respect of transitional pathways from under 18yrs to 21yrs, Open Age and Vets and Summer football. John is well versed in the FA’s Standard Code of Rules and is an invaluable asset, based on his wide knowledge and expertise here which has continuously supported staff and volunteers alike across the grassroots leagues, clubs and volunteers. His knowledge of TECH has also grown within the role, supporting and developing the rollout & management of several FA systems such as Player Registration, Club Affiliation, League Sanction and Freshdesk to name but a few. Whilst these systems have their issues, John is always on hand to support our volunteers and has certainly helped the wider team navigate challenging issues then and indeed now.

Throughout the pandemic over the last year John has had to adapt his skills and has worked tirelessly within different roles across the business. It’s certainly been a challenging time working with limited resources for all staff but John has continued to support relentlessly and whilst it brought frustrations, he’s never given up championing this culture through his dedicated work ethic. Always proactive and willing to offer his input at any level, whilst always demonstrating professionalism, John’s character and sense of humour certainly shines through, inspiring the team and putting a smile on staff faces during very difficult times.        

John is a valued member of the Lancashire FA team and will give his time willingly to support colleagues across the business and volunteers across the grassroots game. He embodies the Lancashire FA values especially ‘Caring, Teamwork and Integrity’, which ensures that whatever challenge he has been tasked with he supports to the very best of his ability. It’s only fitting that he be recognised here through the ‘Red Roses Awards’ and it’s a tribute to his character and commitment to the Lancashire FA.’