Barry Freedman of Watford has been named as Watford Football Club’s Community Captain in recognition of their incredible work in the local area.
Barry has been a long-term Watford FC supporter, attending home and away games, for over 50 years. Barry then became a volunteer for Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust in late 2017 as he wanted to give back to the club and community. As a former bus driver, he quickly took on the role of driving the Trust minibus for Westfield Academy and Whitmore High School football and education schemes, as well as many other Trust activities, including being part of the team behind the success of Golden Memories and Golden Friends. In 2018 alone, he clocked up an amazing 348 hours of volunteering for the Trust across 61 different events. Just in the last six months, Barry’s volunteering hours have seen him lend support to a Premier League Primary Stars national event at Vicarage Road, serving refreshments to participants on The Taylor Trek, and representing the Trust at Watford’s Big Jubilee Weekend and the Hertfordshire County Show.
The Community Captain accolade is being given to more than 100 members of the public who have made an outstanding contribution to their club and local community, as part of the Premier League’s 30th-anniversary celebrations.
Barry received the accolade at Vicarage Road Stadium after a Golden Memories session, one of the many projects run by the Trust funded by the Premier League. He received a PL30 Community Captain armband and pennant, awarded by Hornets legend Luther Blissett OBE DL, and current player Jeremy Ngakia. Member of Parliament for Watford, Dean Russell MP, and Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor were also in attendance, thanking Barry for his voluntary service to the town.
Watford FC’s Community Captain, Barry Freedman, said:
“I’ve been a volunteer for the Trust for many years, so it is lovely to be recognised with this award, which I knew absolutely nothing about!
I’ve been privileged to be a part of many, many projects, ranging from disability programmes to supporting Premier League Kicks, as well as of course today’s programme – Golden Memories.”
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said:
“As we mark 30 years since the Premier League first kicked off, it is important we celebrate the unsung heroes who deliver brilliant work in their communities. These people – whether they are participants, coaches, volunteers, or long-time employees – are the lifeblood of their clubs and their communities.
“The continued success of Premier League football enables us to provide unprecedented investment in communities and wider football. As we look to the future, we are committed to investing more than ever, to help develop the game and provide opportunities to people of all ages.”
The Trust deliver the Premier League’s national programmes – Premier League Kicks, Premier League Inspires, Premier League Primary Stars – locally. As well as these, Watford FC’s official charity also delivers Active Watford and Three Rivers, Golden Memories, Positive Minds, and Shape Up, all of which have benefitted from Premier League funding.
Across England and Wales, Premier League investment supports the community organisations of all 92 Premier League and English Football League clubs, plus the 68 National League clubs.
Over the next three years, the League will continue its world-leading levels of support by contributing £1.6 billion to communities and the wider game.
During the Trophy Tour, the League will be announcing new financial commitments to benefit fans and communities. This includes increased investment into the Premier League Fans’ Fund, with £5m available to support fan engagement projects across the top four divisions of the football pyramid. The League is also investing an additional £13.5 million into the Football Foundation to create small-sided pitches in the heart of communities that need them the most. The tour will also give an opportunity to highlight new Premier League investment into women’s and girls’ football, including the Emerging Talent Centres announced earlier this summer.
To find out more, please visit premierleague.com
For more information on the Premier League Trophy Tour please contact: PL30@freuds.com