The well-decorated individual will receive the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for his services to youth football in Leicestershire and Rutland. His BEM is a testament to his exceptional achievements, being one of only five people in Leicestershire to receive such an esteemed honour.
Hailing from Braunstone Frith, Harry boasts an impressive 57 years of experience in the sport. His footballing journey began as a qualified referee at the young age of 16, and even at the vibrant age of 74, he continues to demonstrate unwavering commitment to football, officiating across the counties on a Sunday and occasional evening fixtures during the week.
Harry has gained deserved recognition for several years with awards such as The Gillette Cup award for Managing Leicestershire Clubs for Young People, the 50 Year Refereeing Award from the County FA and Long Service to Football, awarded by The FA due to his extensive services to football.
Harry expressed his pride after receiving his recommendation for the award. He said:
"I’m very grateful to those who nominated me, it’s a huge honour. This medal is a celebration of our collective dedication to the beautiful game and the bright future it promises for our youth."
He has also had a huge impact off the pitch. From a young age, he was involved in running the local Allexton and Braunstone Youth Club, raising funds and organising events to support the activities of the club.
As well as serving as a Council Member on the Leicestershire and Rutland County FA (LRCFA) for the last 15 years, Harry has held the position of Fixtures Secretary in the Leicestershire Foxes Sunday League for the last 26 years.
The league caters for children aged 10-12, with upwards of 200 teams every Sunday, involving 3000 young players throughout Leicestershire and Rutland. Harry’s contribution to this league promotes a healthy lifestyle and provides children with social, competitive, and sporting opportunities, reinforcing an ethos of inclusive teamwork that embraces various cultures in a multi-cultural Leicestershire.
Joe Dunmore, Chief Executive Officer at the LRCFA commented on Harry’s incredible achievement. He said: "Harry's dedication to nurturing the passion for football among the youth in our region is truly commendable.
"This prestigious honour is a reflection of his tireless efforts, unwavering commitment, and the positive impact he has made on countless young lives. His legacy in shaping the future of grassroots football in Leicestershire and Rutland is an inspiration for our community."