For years Coco, who lives in Bramcote, has dedicated his own time and money to Nottingham’s Pelican Colts FC. On a daily basis he maintains the ground, washes kits, organises matches and inspires the young players at the club.
Coco explained how he became involved with Pelican Colts FC when his son was a young boy: “It became apparent that our son was interested in football from a young age. A friend told us about the newly formed Pelican Colts Football Club and mentioned they were also in need of coaches. My son was seven when he joined and now he’s 28 and I’m still at the club.”
Coco is the third winner of The Nottingham’s campaign, which runs throughout the 2015-16 football season to find ten people involved in local football whose dedication and commitment to the game is exemplary.
He was nominated by a group of the players’ mums, one of whom commented: “Not only is Coco a manager, he is a friend, an inspiration and a true ambassador for local football and we all think he thoroughly deserves to be rewarded.”
At Pelican Colts FC the teams start from under 5s up to under 18s and Coco prides himself on knowing all the youngsters at the club.
Earlier this year The Nottingham sponsored the club and the Society’s logo is now featured on the team shirts.
Coco said: “I want to say a big thank you to all involved, from the women who nominated me to all at The Nottingham for their support of grassroots football.”
Speaking about his proudest moments at the club Coco added: “My personal proudest moment was winning Nottinghamshire FA’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to Community Football 2014’ award. But if I’m honest it is every weekend seeing a Pelican team with their royal blue kit on running out and enjoying football whilst playing on a fantastic surface, which I try my hardest to maintain to a high standard. It does take all my time up, but it is so worth it.
“I’ve also received another award recently from Nottinghamshire FA for ‘Groundsman of the Year 2015’ and came fourth in national finals and I am going to St George’s Park to receive the award.
“On the football side, my proudest moment was managing an under 11s team and winning the Young Elizabethan League Cup Final.”
Now Coco is looking forward to a trip to Nottingham Forest, where he and three friends will enjoy a game from the comfort of the executive box. Speaking of his win, Coco said: “I have been a Nottingham Forest fan all my life and was privileged enough to witness both European Cup Final wins in person, as well as many more fantastic times with the club. Especially seeing many Pelican youngsters go on to play for Forest at different levels.
“I may have to do a raffle ticket system to take friends to the Forest game. I seem to have even more friends than usual now people know that I can take three friends in the box.
“Pelican Colts come first, obviously, but I will make arrangements to park my mower away on that day.”
If you know someone, over the age of 18, who deserves recognition for their commitment to their local football team, be sure to nominate them at www.thenottingham.com/unsung-football-heroes where you will find the terms and conditions for entry.