Topham tops them all

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Stuart Topham has been honoured for a lifetime of service to the grassroots football community in Sheffield with a top award.

He received the Derek Dooley Award for Outstanding Achievement in Grassroots Football at a special presentation evening hosted by Sheffield and Hallamshire FA at Hillsborough.

Stuart has been involved as a player, referee, team manager and in an administrative capacity as a club and league secretary, committee member and representative on the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA council.

He started out as a player for Intake in 1962 and then took up refereeing six years later. In 1971 he hung up his whistle and became team manager and club secretary for Ecclesfield White Bear. Stuart first became involved with the Wragg Football League as a committee member at this time and is now the League’s secretary.

The Wragg League committee already boasts a Derek Dooley winner in Geoff Burgess who took the award in its inaugural year.

James Hope-Gill, the County FA’s chief executive, said: “The Award is our opportunity to thank individuals for freely dedicating their time and effort to the game and Stuart is a worthy winner. He tireless dedicates himself to the game in a variety of roles and never expects or requests any financial reward.”

Sheffield & Hallamshire FA and Sheffield City Council commissioned the Dooley Award in 2009 to honour individuals that have made a lasting contribution to football within Sheffield.