Football Association honours Glendale sports development officer

Glendale's sports development officer has been honoured by the Football Association for his contribution to grassroots sport at an awards ceremony held at Wembley Stadium.

Glendale's Paul Harper. Image: Supplied
Glendale's Paul Harper. Image: Supplied
Paul Harper, from Lewisham, was named Coach of the Year at the tenth annual London Football Association Awards, for what the FA described as his 'sterling' work coaching the Lewisham Primary School League.

Harper has worked for green services provider Glendale for more than 15 years, and is responsible for all things sport-related across Lewisham's parks as part of the national firm's contract with Lewisham Borough Council. The partnership was one of Glendale's first contracts to incorporate events management and sports development alongside its traditional services. It delivers a range of services in the borough, including sports pitch maintenance and promotion.

As part of his role at Glendale, Harper set up and runs the league of 65 teams from 30 primary schools across the borough, and also formed the children's Lewisham District Football Association, which won the national championship for the second time last season.

Harper was presented with his award by BBC Sport's Lynsey Hooper in front of more than a hundred delegates, which included ex-Tottenham Hotspur and England footballer Gary Mabbutt.

Harper said: "The importance of grassroots sport within any community should never be underestimated and has so many benefits for young people. It's always been a passion of mine so it's a real honour to be recognised by the FA in this way."

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