Jeff Clarke presentation

Long-serving Alfreton Town FC volunteer awarded Unsung Hero Award

Derbyshire FA presented its latest Unsung Hero Award to Jeff Clarke of Alfreton Town FC, recognising more than four decades of service to the national league side.

Jeff has volunteered at his local club since 1980, a regular presence on matchdays as well as taking on out of season duties. He is usually busy as a turnstile operator on matchdays but also looks after officials when they arrive at the Impact Arena. Off season Jeff helps with general maintenance at the club, such as painting and decorating, but is always on hand to support the club in any way possible.

“His commitments to the community stretch far past football,” said Alex Walker, Derbyshire FA’s Football Development Officer. “He is a Trustee at Riddings Church of Christ and has roles at OSCARI Food Pantry and Alfreton Male Voice Choir. A well-respected member of his community, Jeff absolutely deserves the Unsung Hero Award and we’re delighted to honour him and show that his contribution to grassroots football has not gone unnoticed.”

The Unsung Hero Award was newly introduced for the 2023/24 season – Derbyshire FA’s 140th Year – with a new hero awarded every month by Derbyshire FA.

“The campaign is all about identifying and celebrating the individuals that make football happen in Derbyshire,” added Alex. “It’s the people that volunteer hours of their free time for the benefit of others and their contribution often goes under the radar.”

Each winner receives a customised presentation box created by gift specialists Colleague Box, aptly named ‘A Taste of Derbyshire’.  It contains a variety of gifts including branded merchandise, treats and drinks. September’s winner was Mark Frost, Secretary of Ilkeston Town FC.

Called on to the pitch at half-time, Jeff was surprised and delighted to receive the award at the Alfreton Town’s FA Cup First Round Proper fixture against Worthing. In typical volunteer fashion, Jeff took a quick peak at the presentation box before putting it safely aside to continue his matchday duties for the rest of the game.

Wayne Bradley, Chairman of Alfreton Town said: “Thank you Jeff for your week-in, week-out dedication to Alfreton Town Football Club. Your contribution is outstanding and allows us to provide a quality matchday experience for all in attendance.”

The day was made even better for Jeff and Alfreton Town, as the Reds marched on to a 2-0 victory to progress to the FA Cup Second Round Proper – the first time for the first team in 11 years!

If you know someone that dedicates their all to grassroots football like Jeff, you can nominate them for Derbyshire FA’s Unsung Hero Award here.