Stephen Hunt, a disability football coach for over 20 years from Merseyside, is the Nationwide Building Society Mutual Respect Award for May 2021.
‘Ste’, who has Spina Bifida, is 50 years old and a player and coach for FC PHAB in Liverpool. Over the last two decades, he has coached over 500 local players with disabilities despite Ste’s own challenges.
Ste said: “I have always had a passion for football and in particular Disability Football. I’m a Liverpool fan and I have been going to home matches since I can remember.
“I’m disabled and my condition is Spina Bifida. I have been involved with Disability Football for 21 years.
“I have played for Everton, Walton FC, Tranmere and Liverpool FC Foundation Ability Counts teams.
“I have been a coach since 2001 and have got FA level 1 and 2 badges plus Coaching Disabled Footballers Award.
“I have volunteered for Greenbank Sports Academy, Liverpool County FA, LFC Foundation and PHAB Liverpool.
“I have coached FC PHAB since 2015 and it’s an honour to work and play with my fellow coaches and players and thanks to Phil Peel, Steve Sullivan, Mark Horlick, Sophie Coyne and Terri Ritchie for their support over the years.
“We play in the Merseyside Day Centre league and play in tournaments and friendlies in Merseyside.
“I always tell my players before each game to enjoy the match, respect the opposition players and the officials.
“Thank you very much to The FA and Nationwide for this fantastic award – I am overjoyed.”
The Nationwide Mutual Respect Award, as part of The Football Association’s Respect Campaign, aims to help make grassroots football more respectful and positive. The brand-new award recognises outstanding contributions, achievements and behaviour in grassroots football across the country by young players, coaches, teams, parents and referees.
The Nationwide Mutual Respect Award panel said: “We are delighted Ste has won this prestigious accolade for his tireless work promoting respect as a player and coach in disability football. Ste not only receives a trophy and the accolade of being the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award winner but also wins tickets to a forthcoming England game.
“Huge congratulations to Ste and his constant reinforcement of Nationwide’s mutual respect values in grassroots football.”
Nationwide’s target is to engage with one million parents and coaches in the FA Respect Campaign as a part of their three-year partnership. This is a paid partnership from Nationwide Building Society.