Players recognised

The heartache of last season was quickly forgotten as club officials and supporters lifted the doom and gloom with a night of celebration at the Washington Central hotel.

In a special night rivalling the PFA awards for glitz and glamour, Commercial Officer Darrell Thomas emerged as a more than capable MC as supporters and staff recognised the efforts of the players.

The Reds Independent Supporters Club were first to the stage and they paid tribute to three of their members, Elaine Heron, Darren Wood and Graham Bates before recognising the work made by Director Ross Peacock for liaising with the various groups that operate under the club’s umbrella.

They also selected two players who had made an impact throughout the season – Niall Cowperthwaite and Luke Ivison.

Reds Reserves turned out in force and there was warm applause for Players’ Player of the Year recipient, Nathan Dryden, and Player of the Year Joe Hetherington as they collected their trophies.

Dryden also collected the Golden Boot after finishing top scorer with nineteen goals – a tally that included four goals in one match at Hyde United.

Gari Rowntree, who has admitted that his playing days are numbered due to injury, was voted the Supporters’ Player of the Year for the first team while Niall Cowperthwaite picked up the coveted Players’ Player of the Year accolade.

For the first time, the News & Star donated a trophy and readers unanimously voted for Gari Rowntree as the inaugural winner.

Club director, Mike Rollo, then presented an engraved tankard to long serving groundsman, Jeff Curwen, who battled bravely through twelve months of Cumbrian weather preparing the pitch for match day.

Three club stalwarts were honoured for their long and distinguished service to the club with engraved pieces of glassware presented to David Hewson (fifteen years as player, coach and manager), Lee Andrews (eleven years as player, coach and manager) and Gari Rowntree (400 appearances).

John Mackay concluded the presentations when the inaugural Chairman’s Award, an engraved silver salver, was handed to Lee Andrews.

The Supporters Club handed over a cheque for £6,000 to chairman John Mackay at Friday’s event.

An enjoyable evening was brought to an end with an impromptu auction of football memorabilia before Ashy’s Disco provided some tunes.

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