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England star surprises Rotherham award winner

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Rotherham football stalwart, Val Hoyle, has been recognised at The FA Women’s and Girls’ Football Participation Awards, and received a surprise call from an England legend.

The awards recognise the achievements of clubs, players, staff and the important work by volunteers at the grassroots level of the game.

And the winners from each award received surprise video calls from the famous faces to let them know the news and to thank them for their hard work and dedication in growing women’s and girls’ football participation.

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Val was a winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising her efforts in growing the game. She recently received a congratulatory call from England’s record goalscorer, Kelly Smith MBE. You can watch the video below.

Val is in her 50th year at Rotherham United Women’s Football Club (formerly Kilnhurst Ladies) and founded the club in 1969 aged 11, where she played for 30 years. Since then she has taken on the roles of coach and manager.

Amy Pollock, captain of Rotherham United Women nominated Val. She said: “The impact that Val has had at Rotherham United has been extremely huge. With fetching the girls through, making the club what it is today and making the girls what they are today. She is amazing”

Sue Hough MBE, FA Board and Chair of FA Women’s Football Board, said: “The last few months have been very difficult for those involved in grassroots football, so I’m delighted we can take a moment to recognise and reward those who dedicate their time and effort to drive the women’s and girls’ game forward.

“On behalf of everyone at the FA, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all those involved. Without the hard work of these hugely inspirational volunteers, coaches, facilitators and teachers, the women’s and girls’ game would not be where it is today.”

Images: The FA

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Tom Austen
Tom grew up in Aston, Rotherham and studied Human Geography at Nottingham Trent University before developing a passion for promoting Rotherham and a nose for a good story.

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