Local mum Michelle Woollias was named England's McDonald's Football Mum of the Year 2016 at a special ceremony at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 7th August.
She was presented the outstanding award by fellow football mum Coleen Rooney and Ambassador Casey Stoney. The award recognises mums who put in countless unpaid hours of hard work so that their children and the local community can enjoy playing football with the support of women like Michelle.
Michelle was chosen by a team of judges including;
Coleen Rooney - McDonald's Football Mum of the Year Ambassador
Casey Stoney - McDonald's Head of Women's & Girls' Football and England and Arsenal Ladies player
Jacqui Oatley - Broadcaster and Journalist
Helen Ward - Wales and Reading FC Ladies player
Solene Agostini - Partnerships Coordinator at The FA
Kate Walker - McDonald's Franchisee, Scotland
Michelle Woollias' daughter dreamt of joining a football team to play just like her brother. With no girls' teams available in the local area, in 2014 Michelle made the decision to start one for her. With no background in football, aside from a season ticket watching Bradford City with her family, she ambitiously approached the committee of Thackley Juniors FC to set up a girls' team.
Michelle quickly attained the FA Level 1 coaching badge and then FA Youth Module 1. She now oversees five girls' teams from under-7s to under-11s. Her ethos and approach is highly thought of by both her peers and the local FA alike.
On receiving her award, Michelle said:
'Being named the 2016 McDonald's Football Mum of the Year is an absolute honour - I still can't believe I've won! Spending the day at Wembley and having the opportunity to meet such inspirational women as Coleen, Jacqui and Casey has been an incredible experience.'
'I remember reading about Leah's victory last year but never thought I'd be standing here twelve months later. I hope receiving this award helps inspire more female roles in the game, as it's something I'm truly passionate about.'
'This award is genuinely for the thousands of hard working, committed football mums all over the UK who sacrifice so much to help local children enjoy the game and I want to say a huge thank you to each and every one of them too!'
Casey Stoney, one of four members of the judging panel who picked winners from each nation said:
'Mums like Michelle have put in so much time and work to make sure their kids get to enjoy their passion for football. Not only do they encourage them, but they are building such a legacy for their children and local communities.'
'There are so many women that don't get the recognition for all that they do. Being a mum myself, I'm thrilled to present Michelle with this year's McDonald's Football Mum of the Year Award.'
McDonald's Ambassador Coleen Rooney who met the winners at the ceremony said:
'Meeting mums like Michelle is such an inspiration. As a mum to 3 young boys, I know there is so much to do to get them to training that may go unnoticed. So I'm pleased that there is a chance to bring recognition to women like Michelle and all that she does for her community.'
'It was fantastic to hear all the great stories, and I'm glad I could play a part in awarding her this honour at Wembley.'