Wonderful night for Grays Athletic at annual presentation night

Grays Award

SUPPORTERS, players, and invited guests came together on Saturday for the Blues Annual Presentation Night , also present were former players who were inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

After a brief introduction from interim club chairman Steve Skinner Master of Ceremonies Chris Turner got proceedings under way.

The first award of the evening was a special award presented to Steve Skinner in recognition of his sterling work in steering the club through a difficult period in the Blues history.

Next award went to representatives of the Youth team who had a successful season with some notable victories amongst others against Ipswich Town .

Joao Carlos was presented with his award for amassing over 275 appearances for the Blues and cementing his position as a fans favourite with his loyalty to the club, something that is rare in today’s game.

Supporter of the year went to David Seaman

Young Player of the Year went to Harry Watkins who was one of the few players who started the season back in August.

Another of the special awards went to the club physio Lauren Pearson.

Next up with a special award was Rambling David Raven,David has been with the club for the past six years in a coaching and scouting capacity and also the author of some interesting and sometimes hilarious articles in the match day programme.Sadly David will be moving back to his native Liverpool with his job but only at weekends so we will see him at midweek games hopefully.

The Brian Coker award went to Peter Symonds in recognition of his work and commitment to the club over the last few years.

April Player of the Month went to “The Master” Jamie Stuart following some sterling displays during the month.

Player of the Year went to striker and leading scorer Kieron Bishop who many fans will hope remains with the club next season.Kieron came to the club mid way through the season and his goals proved valuable and none more so than the 90th minute winner at Dulwich Hamlet

There then followed the induction of former and present players into the Grays Athletic Hall of Fame.

First up was former goalkeeper Mel Capleton who enjoyed two spells with the club sandwiched between duties between the sticks for those other Blues Southend United.
Nicky Crown was the second inductee who gave an interesting and humorous account of his time at the club.

One time club captain and fans favourite Stuart Thurgood was the next recipient, Stuart was unable to attend but he did send a message of thanks relayed to the audience by Jamie Stuart.

Older Blues fans would have been familiar with the next inductee which went to former club captain and full back Tommy Barnes,sadly Tommy is no longer with us and so his trophy was accepted by his daughters Lesley and Valerie. Tommy played in every position for the club including goalkeeper but finally settled down in the right back berth,noted for his trademark sliding tackles Tommy quickly became a fans favourite.

Another old face to be inducted was former centre half Brian Stockley, Brian was a no nonsense defender who represented the club during the sixties when the Blues were experiencing one of their least successful periods.Brian also served the club as Manager

The final inductee needed no introduction when he picked up his second award of the evening and it went to Jamie Stuart.”The Master”came to the club from Hornchurch and quickly established himself as the fans favourite with his wholehearted displays.Never giving less than 100% every time he pulled on the shirt it wasn’t long before he earned the name “The Master”.

Jamie gave valuable service to the club through good and bad times and eventually followed Manager Justin Edinburgh to Rushden and Diamonds. From there he moved to AFC Wimbledon and was one of the main reasons the club attained Football League status. Margate was his next port of call and we all had a glimpse of his love of Grays Athletic when after the Blues had inflicted a 5-2 defeat down at the seaside after the game Jamie still found time to chat to the fans on the coach before they left for home.

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