Ben becomes The Nottingham’s second Unsung Football Hero

Although he is one of Nottingham Forest’s biggest fans, it is Ben Saxton’s dedication to grassroots football and his coaching skills that have led to him being picked by The Nottingham as their second Unsung Football Hero.

Now 19-year-old Ben, of Holmesfield Drive, Heanor in Derbyshire, has won the use of the executive box at Nottingham Forest, along with three friends, a football signed by the Nottingham Forest first team squad and an invitation to a special end of season event.

Ben is the second winner of The Nottingham’s campaign, which runs throughout the 2015-16 football season to find ten people involved in local football whose dedication and commitment to the game is exemplary.

Nominated by his mum, Sherrie. Ben played football between the ages of seven and 15 before deciding he would like to use his skills to coach youngsters at his local club, Shipley Park Rangers FC.

Ben is now the Assistant Manager and Head of Coaching for the under 11s team and was until recently also coaching the under 15s there too. Since the under 15s team has folded he is now also managing the under 18s team at Eastwood Athletic FC.

It is Ben’s dedication and commitment to the youngsters that is so inspirational. Despite the fact he works full time as an IT apprentice, he gives up around five hours each week to the clubs in addition to spending time planning the training sessions to be delivered.

He is an FA qualified level 2 football coach and an FA qualified level 2 goalkeeper coach, as well as being an FA qualified referee. He has also undertaken various other courses including the FA Youth Modules 1 and 2, disability workshops and futsal.    

Speaking about becoming the second Unsung Football Hero, Ben said: “To be nominated for doing something I love is amazing. 

“My proudest achievement is seeing the lads make such a big improvement. When I first started coaching the lads weren’t enjoying the fact that they were being beaten every week, but that all changed and then they had three successive promotions.”

Ben has been involved with Shipley Park Rangers FC since its formation in 2011, and is now a respected member of the coaching staff. His aim is to give back to the club some of the enjoyment that he gained whilst playing football.

In April 2015 he received recognition from Derbyshire FA in the FA Respect awards and subsequently in July 2015 from the FA for his contribution to grassroots football.

Now Ben is looking forward to his trip to Nottingham Forest, along with his parents Sherrie and Mick - who he says have been a constant support to him - along with his friend and Manager of Shipley Park Rangers, Ben Murdoch. He is even planning to move some of his much-loved family photographs to ensure the signed Nottingham Forest football can take pride of place in his home!

Ben (pictured) is the second ‘unsung football hero’ of ten that we will be announcing throughout the course of the 2015-16 football season. Anyone wanting to make a nomination can do so here.


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