Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club Ramsbottom United have won the accolade of “Football Club of the Year 2016” as voted for by Club Mirror Magazine.
In front of a packed 600-plus audience at Manchester Palace Hotel last Thursday, the award was gratefully received by Ramsbottom United’s matchday secretary Andy Edmundson, along with joint-managers Paul Fildes and Mark Fell.
Said Fildes, “I couldn’t believe we had won! As winners of other categories were announced, they all made their way to the stage from the front of the hall. We were sitting right at the back, so were more than surprised when we were invited to collect. It took us ages to reach the stage!”
Edmundson was delighted. “We had been asked to attend, but we had no idea we had won anything until the announcement. I can only assure we were successful because of the way we had handled all the problems of the last twelve months.”
Those problems involved the massive job of recovering from the aftermath of the devastating Boxing Day floods where the ground was submerged under five feet of water.
The cost of damage was in excess of £40,000, and the club was unable to host a home match for over two months.
On top of that, the Rams suffered their first-ever relegation, but events began to turn in the summer, when Chairman and co-founder of the club, Harry Williams received an award from the Northern Premier League to celebrate his, and the club’s 50th anniversary.
The appointment of the new managerial duo, plus an almost entirely new squad, has seen the team turn a corner as it now seeks to enter 2015 with the target of regaining its place in the Premier Division.
What began as a year of anguish has turned into a year of optimism, topped by this latest accolade.
Head of Judges Caroline Scoular, said: “Clubs across Britain have celebrated the pivotal role they play in the community, and for their ability to provide a safe and convival environment in which to socialise. From just under 1,000 entries, finalists were singled out for excellence across the 28 categories.”
Club Mirror magazine, owner and organiser of the awards, has been an integral part of the club industry for over 48 years. The Awards are now in their 25th year.
Ramsbottom United were the proud recipients of the award of “Football Club of the Year 2016”.