Battersea-based Bedhead FC will head to Wembley on August 11 to collect the Charter Standard development club of the year award at the 2013 FA Community Awards.
Founded in 2010, The FA and McDonald’s Community Awards recognise and celebrate those coaches, volunteers, clubs and leagues across England whose hard work is vital to grassroots football in their community.
Despite only being in existence since 2007, Bedhead has become a real force in the Battersea Leagues. Originally conceived as an idea between Anthony Mascolo, international creative director of Bedhead, and ex-professional Laurence Batty, to provide football to a group of 11-year-olds, the club now boast more than 200 players across 18 teams.
Alongside the football coaching they provide to children, Bedhead have also set up the Goal Getter project which allows 14-16 years to train for free under their coaches as well as attending workshops to discourage them from anti-social behaviour. This has proved a success with more than 80 boys training three times a week and playing matches on a Saturday.
Bedhead also run a programme called Street FC for children aged between 3 and 13 to help develop their skills and encourage an active lifestyle. In order to keep these projects and the club fees to a minimum, the club work closely with the Guy Mascolo Charity who help to subsidise all of the players fees.
On the day, Bedhead will be collecting the national award in front of football legends set to include Sir Geoff Hurst, Pat Jennings and the FA's director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking.
Sir Geoff Hurst said: "Bedhead FC embodies the spirit of a grassroots football club.
"The work Bedhead does in the community is commendable and to be able to offer affordable football to that huge amount of young, budding players is a remarkable achievement.
"Without volunteers at grassroots level our national game that we know and love couldn’t exist and I’m looking forward to meeting Bedhead on Sunday to pass on my congratulations on winning the award."