After a five-month search for Devon’s unsung football heroes, voting is now open to crown Exeter City Football Club’s first ever Flybe Community Champion.
Fans from across the region have had three opportunities throughout the season to nominate their ‘Community Champion’, someone who they felt deserved recognition for their contribution to football in the local area.
Kevin Richards, Adam Coupland and Martin Cook were selected in December, February and March respectively for their work at their clubs and all three nominations shared common theme, their selflessness and community spirit.
The overall winner will be revealed at the 2018/19 Awards Evening on Saturday, April 27 by Flybe Chief Executive Officer Christine Ourmieres-Widener.
Voting is open now and closes at midnight Tuesday, April 23. Votes can be cast below or by clicking here.
Christine Ourmieres-Widener, Flybe Chief Executive Officer said: “The nominations show the hard and often underappreciated work that goes on behind the scenes to keep local football clubs going, and the positive impact they can have on the local community. I am looking forward to meeting all three and crowning the first ever Flybe Community Champion.”
Exeter City chairman Julian Tagg added: "We are delighted with the response to this great initative that highlights the community aspect of both Flybe and the club.
"It will be an honour for us to reward the first eve Flybe Community Champion at our prestigious Awards Evening."
Exeter City and Flybe have one of the longest running shirt sponsorships in UK football, with the Flybe name featuring on the first team’s shirt for 16 consecutive years, having first appeared during the 2003/04 season,
Voting is open now and closes at midnight Tuesday, April 23. Votes can be cast by clicking here.
Kevin was nominated for his work with Pinhoe Spartans under-13’s and received multiple nominations praising him for his connection with the players and going above and beyond to create a welcoming and never say die atmosphere at the club.
Particular mention on how he brought a new player with autism into the team and with his and his teammates support has flourished after a negative experience at his previous club.
Kevin even dipped into his own pocket when a kit sponsor couldn’t be found. He is a real role model for the younger generation and we are delighted to name him as the first nomination.
Adam has been described as a 'hero' for his work with Teign Village Football Club.
Adam is the heart of the club where he puts so much of his spare time, you can often find him out until the sun goes down cutting and marking the pitch ahead of matches. He has brought the community back in touch with their football club, arranging on charity matches as well as memorial matches for recently passed players.
Put very simply in one of his nominations - “If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have a team”.
Martin has been nominated for putting Exmouth Town 'back on the local footballing map'.
He has taken a multi-layered approach to revitalising the club, utilising social media platforms to keep everyone informed and motivated, alongside countless social events he has encouraged fans to stay longer and bring people together under the Exmouth Town banner. He is loved by fans and players alike who are flocking back to play for the club after time away.
In the last 2 years one of the biggest boosts to morale is the fact he has also started to run coach journeys alongside the club.
Speaking about being nominated for the award, Martin said: "I was stunned to get the call and humbled that someone had nominated me. It's fantastic for me, as I love giving time to something that I am passionate about and I know I'm not the only person doing that. "