London Football Awards 2019 The Willow Foundation

Apologies to Hammers fans for having Harry Kane's 'boat' on our front page, but this charity is worthy of attention. Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. For some their Special Day is the opportunity to return some normality to their lives. For others it is the last chance to fulfil a dream. But for all, it is a life-affirming experience that can lift spirits, reunify families and be a source of strength when it’s needed most. To date, Willow has provided more than 15,500 Special Days for young adults diagnosed with a life-threatening condition such as cancer, motor neurone disease, cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease. The Charity receives no government or lottery funding and is totally reliant on the generosity of individuals, companies and Trusts to fund its work. www.willowfoundation.org.uk

Football heavyweights have once again scored nominations at this year’s London Football Awards. Last year’s winner, Harry Kane MBE, is nominated alongside teammate Heung-Min Son and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard for Premier League Player of the Year. Charlton Athletic’s forward, Karlan Grant is in contention for both Young and EFL Player of the Year, his League One boss, Lee Bowyer is amongst Premier League nominees and Arsenal Women’s Joe Montemurro vying for Manager of the Year. The winners of the nine awards will be announced at the prestigious event at London’s Battersea Evolution on February 28, 2019.

In its fifth year, the London Football Awards, sponsored by Toscafund, raises funds for former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter, Bob Wilson OBE and his wife, Megs’ charity, Willow - the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days.

The shortlist of nominees was agreed by an independent panel of judges and announced by Bob Wilson OBE at the launch at Coutts’ historical head office in London on 28 January, they include.
Goalkeeper of the Year
(sponsored by Multiplex)
Kepa Arrizabalaga – Chelsea
Łukasz Fabiański – West Ham United
Ben Foster – Watford
Joe Lumley – Queens Park Rangers
Dillon Phillips – Charlton Athletic

Young Player of the Year (under-21)
(sponsored by Zeus Capital)
Eberechi Eze – Queens Park Rangers
Karlan Grant – Charlton Athletic
Mattéo Guendouzi – Arsenal
Declan Rice – West Ham United
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Crystal Palace

Community Project of the Year
(sponsored by the Evening Standard)
Arsenal in the Community – Drawn Out
Brentford FC Community Sports Trust – Ambassadors Project
Chelsea Foundation – Say No To Antisemitism

The FA ‘For All’ Award
(Sponsored by The Football Association)
Essex County FA – Muslimah Sports Association
London County FA – St. Matthews Project
Surrey County FA – Inclusive Schools League
New for this year, is The FA ‘For All’ Award, which recognises a grassroots project or club linked to a County FA in the London area, which supports diversity, inclusion and engages with underrepresented groups participating in football.

This year’s winner of the Outstanding Contribution to London Football award (sponsored by Weston Homes PLC), is former Spurs, Chelsea and England footballer and manager, Glenn Hoddle. This prestigious award was previously presented to Ian Wright MBE, Frank Lampard OBE, John Terry and Arsene Wenger OBE.

Other past winners to have attended the Awards are Antonio Conte, Harry Kane MBE, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris, N’Golo Kante, Tom Cairney, Ryan Sessegnon, Jordan Nobbs, Dimitri Payet, Moussa Dembele, Aaron Ramsey, Ledley King and Roy Hodgson, to name a few.

Willow Life President Bob Wilson OBE, said: “The London Football Awards is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the skills of our nominees, as well as the outstanding community work achieved by the clubs and County FAs. It’s been a dramatic and exciting season for all the capital’s clubs and it’s refreshing to see names from some second and third tier league teams, vying for awards against the usual premiership heavyweights. I’m looking forward to celebrating the best of London’s football with friends and colleagues on February 28.”

Nominees and winners of the awards have been selected by an expert judging panel from the worlds of football and media, from former players to major footballing bodies, and sports media, including Sky Sports, BBC, The Telegraph, Evening Standard and talkSPORT.

Standard tickets to the London Football Awards, including pre-dinner drinks and a three course meal, cost £225 per person. Tables of ten are available for £2,250, Premium tables cost £3,500 and Legend Tables (for nine guests plus a legend) cost £6,000.

For more information and booking visit www.londonfootballawards.org or telephone Willow on 01707 259777.
For more information about Willow visit www.willowfoundation.org.uk

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