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Chester grasroots football hero in running for national prize

Chester & Wirral League secretary Paul Graham nominated for FA People’s Award

Chester grassroots football stalwart Paul Graham

A stalwart of the grassroots football scene in Chester is in the running for a major honour.

Paul Graham, from Blacon, is one of six people from across the country to be nominated for the People’s Award at the 2017 FA Community Awards.

The award recognises an outstanding contribution to community football and the Chester & Wirral Football League secretary, having won the county and regional rounds, is now up for the national prize.

Paul has had many roles in football but the most recent as a member of the Chester & Wirral Football League committee has been his most impactful.

He has been influential in driving local football by creating new divisions and developing playing opportunities for all including veteran players, referees and partnering with Chester FC to run coaching sessions.

As a result he has turned around the league’s team decline to growth, going from 22 teams to more than 70 last season.

The FA Community Awards are split into several categories and each category is judged at a county and a regional level before a national shortlist is created from the regional winners of each category.

In 2016, more than 2,000 nominations were put forward for the awards in England.

The national winners for each category – except for the People’s Award – are chosen by a national panel comprising ex-professionals and past winners.

The People’s Award is voted for by the public and announced at The FA Community Awards on August 6 during this year’s FA Community Shield between Premier League champions Chelsea and FA Cup winners Arsenal at Wembley.

Jim Green, chief executive of Chester FC Community Trust, is urging the Chester community to vote for Paul.

Jim said: “It’s fantastic to see Paul being recognised for his outstanding service to football in Chester and richly deserved.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Paul well through football and his passion for the game, the community and his forward-thinking has transformed the Chester & Wirral Football League.”

You can vote for Paul by clicking HERE. The deadline is Sunday (July 30).

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