STAR Lion awards have been spread far and wide this season which just goes to show that Heanor Town’s on-field success last season has not been down to just one player, or even one or two players.
The management duo may, quite rightly, claim that had the Star Lion awards for each match have gone as far as the dug out they may well have been well out in front come the final day of reckoning, but they will take credit for their success from the efforts of the players on the pitch.
Leading the Star Lion awards, given matchly by myself in the match reports – and, it would seem, not always agreed with by everyone – is Lee Stevenson who was nominated six times.
Brett Peel with five was followed closely by Graham Wells, Adam Kay, and Nathan Benger with four each, and there were three time awards for Mark Frost, James Whitehead, Ryan Cancellara, and Ash Grayson.
And here there is by way of an apology to Graham Wells for missing his brilliantly taken hat-trick in the home game against Graham Street Prims out of the review of the season in last week’s edition.
Back to Star Lions awards and Gary Webster, Lee Askham, Dan Williams and Phil Austin were each nominated twice with Darren Keeling, Jaylee Hodgson, George Walker, Danny Cox, and Rob Gill once each.
Tomorrow (Friday, May 27) is the club’s annual presentation and awards evening at which the management player of the year, players’ player of the year and supporters’ player of the year will be presented.
One wonders if these will be as difficult to predict as the Star Lions awards have been during the course of the season, and whether they will actually follow the same course.
The evening begins at 8pm at the Town Ground and there will be a hog roast and a disco to keep the evening alive after the presentation of the awards.
This is a club event and all supporters are welcome to attend.
On a sadder note the evening will represent the last occasion for the Lions most popular sports physiotherapist, 30-year-old Beverley Thompson.
Bev is relinquishing the post and her knowledge as well as her popularity will be difficult to fill, but it is understood that there have been some enquiries up to now but the position has not been filled and other applications are invited.
Bev is a First Aid assistant at Friesland School and studied sports therapy at the University of Huddersfield gaining a BSc with honours. She also holds an FA diploma for sports therapy.
Although living in Ripley, she has been with Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins since the pair started out in management with Matlock Town Reserves in August 2008.
She is employed by the Notts County Centre for Excellence looking after children from nine to 16 years of age in their Academy set up.
She has also worked for Matlock Town’s Under 19 side but gave that position up at the end of last season.
Everyone at the club wishes Bev well for the future and she will leave Heanor Town knowing that she will be welcome back at the Town Ground any time.
And the same goes for James Whitehead, the club’s popular defender and penalty expert who hung his boots up following the last match at Hinckley FC.