FAMOUS former England defender Dave Watson was the star guest at the annual presentation night of Hucknall Warriors youth football club, which was held at the Rolls-Royce Leisure Club.
Watson (now 65) began his professional career at Notts County the year England won the World Cup in 1966. And he went on to win 65 England caps of his own between 1974 and 1982.
In a flourishing career, he made more than 700 appearances for many clubs, most notably Sunderland, whom he helped win the FA Cup in 1973, and Manchester City, whom he helped win the league cup in 1976.
Watson, who was born in Stapleford, presented a host of awards at Warriors’ do and also gave a short talk on his career before taking part in a question-and-answer session.
More than 200 people attended the event, which included video shows of the club’s four teams, delivered via two eight-foot screens, two 60-inch plasma TVs and a six-speaker sound deck.
The videos included interviews with parents, a documentary on how the night was put together, amusing out-takes and a comedy spoof movie starring several of the coaches and managers.
Warriors chairman Paul Burley, who organised and compered the event, said: “This night has become a monster!
“We started a few years ago, showing just a few photographs on a screen and we introduced video footage last year. This year took six months to organise and was a real technical feat.
“My son Matthew has a passion for technology and between us, we spent more than 100 hours to put the four-hour show on. But the feedback we got from everyone made it worthwhile.
“It has been another successful year for Warriors and the presentation night helped us celebrate our fifth anniversary in style.”
Of the four Warriors teams, the Under-15s Yellow finished 11th in the 13-team Saturday First Division of the Mansfield Youth League; the Under-15s Red finished third in the Sunday Second Division of the Notts Youth League; the Under-11s finished joint bottom of the Young Eliabethan League’s Sunday Third Division; and the Under-9s finished fourth in the Young Elizabethan League’s Saturday First Division. A new under-13s team is to be launched next season.
The winners of the awards presented by Watson were:
PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Under-15s Yellow, Andreas Kokkinou (also nominated, Adam Fox and James Starmore); Under-15s Red, Luke Cook (also nominated, Andreas Kokkinou and Regan Scott); Under-11s, Kane Pickard (also nominated, Liam Bembridge and Darren Pykett); Under-9s, Regan Evans (also nominated, Connor Smith and Joe Gillan).
MANAGERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Under-15s Yellow, Sam Stewart (also nominated, Matthew Brierley and James Starmore); Under-15s Red, Lewis Nixon (also nominated, Andreas Kokkinou and Tom Hall); Under-11s, Sam Butler (also nominated Austin Baker and John-Jo Martin); Under-9s, Joe Gillan (also nominated Jude Preece and Jack Bradley).
SUPPORTERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Under-15s Yellow, Adam Fox (also nominated Danny Mitford and Andreas Kokkinou); Under-15s Red, Andreas Kokkinou (also nominated Tom Hall and Luke Cook); Under-11s, Liam Bembridge (also nominated Sam Butler and Kane Pickard); Under-9s, Jack Bradley (also nominated Joe Gillan and Jude Preece).
COACHES’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Under-15s Yellow, Danny Mitford (also nominated Adam Fox and Sam Wells); Under-15s Red, Paice Lees (also nominated, Tyler Stafford and Sam Stewart); Under-11s, Blake Swannell (also nominated, Darren Pykett and Jacob Rowland); Under-9s, Connor Smith (also nominated, Owen Burke and Jack Bradley).
TEAM PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Under-15s Yellow, Michael South (also nominated, Bernie Kirk and Sam Wells); Under-15s Red, Liam Burley (also nominated, Alex Galloway and Nyran Wright); Under-11s, Lewis Toop (also nominated, George Seddon and Josh Clayton); Under-9s, Owen Burke (also nominated, David Hurry and George Blatherwick).