0 Pete Ashworth Named Groundsman of the Year

pr picPreston North End's Pete Ashworth has won the Groundsman of the Year Award in League One.

The awards were set up to recognise the importance of the quality of pitches for professional football and acknowledge the head groundsmen and their staff who produce the best playing surfaces.

Though this season has been mild exceptionally high winter rainfall experienced throughout the country provided a challenge for grounds staff at clubs.

Craig Richardson and David Fellowes, of Bristol City and Rotherham United respectively were also highly commended for the award.

In the Championship, Middlesbrough's Tony Bell has been named the best groundsman while Bolton Wanderers' Richard Norton was highly commended for a second successive year.

Dave Butler of Queens Park Rangers was also highly commended.

League Two's top prize has been handed to Fleetwood Town's Dale Firth.

Hartlepool United's David Brown and Plymouth Argyle's Billy White were highly commended.

The Football League's Groundsman of the Year Awards are determined initially using marks from referees and away managers for each Sky Bet Football League game and are then followed by detailed pitch inspections and a review of management operations.

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