The feel-good factor at Borough Park extended further on Friday as Danny Grainger and his squad were recognised at the club’s Presentation Evening.
Club officials and supporters paid tribute to the team after they achieved a promotion and cup double to round off a very successful 2022-23 campaign.
Grainger was actually applauded as he took his seat in the Tony Hopper Bar alongside all but four members of the squad.
The manager was first on to the stage and, after thanking everyone who contributed to a memorable season, he was presented with an engraved silver salver.
David Symington capped a wonderful personal season by lifting the Supporters’ Player of the Year trophy after the voting had been unanimously stacked in his favour.
And the popular number 7, who chipped in with twenty goals after his best scoring campaign, also collected the Goal of the Season memento for the stunning strike (his second of four) in the emphatic home win over Witton Albion.
Dan Wordsworth admitted his surprise after being voted Players’ Player of the Year and was proud to add that to the Young Player of the Year accolade he won eleven years ago.
The Young Player of the Year recipient this term was Bobby Carroll who enjoyed a stand-out first season with the club. He also collected a second trophy from the Reds Independent Supporters’ Club.
Two players from the Development Squad – Lewis Moore and Zach Lester – were recognised with the Players’ Player and Player of the Year awards respectively, having made their first team debuts as 16 and 17 year-olds.
Obua Mugalula’s man-of-the-match performance in the Cumberland Cup Final was also celebrated as he collected a glass souvenir marking his special night at Brunton Park.
The ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ section saw veterans Scott Allison and Dan Wordsworth honoured with a framed collage recognising their 300 games for the club after both reached that particular milestone over the winter months.
Chairman Phil Norman proudly thanked a cast of thousands for their contribution to the club’s success and expressed gratitude to the RISC and the Reds Supporters’ Club, who both handed over cheques for £5,000 boosting club funds significantly.
The evening, superbly hosted by life-long Reds’ fan, John Walsh, concluded with a light-hearted speech from skipper Conor Tinnion who received warm applause when he announced he would be ‘hobbling on for another season’ even if it meant occupying a not too stressful sweepers role at the back!