A Suffolk groundsman said he could not believe it when his name was announced as the winner of a national award. Bryan Symonds, of Bacton United 89 FC, was named winner of the National Step 7 and Below Award category at the Groundsman of the Year Awards, organised by The FA. The 73-year- old, who won the Suffolk FA competition earlier this year, attended the awards event at the Hilton Hotel at St George's Park last week.
Symonds, who was accompanied by club treasurer Martin Feverue, said: "It was a fabulous day out. "I was surprised at the size of the place - the buildings and layout - and the pitches are phenomenal."
"When it came to the awards I was starting to think we were going to come away with nothing when clubs that were highly commended, third-placed and second-placed were read out and we were not among them. "When it was announced that we had won I could not believe it."
Winning the award capped off a memorable day that included a question and answer session with a panel of professional groundsmen and judges. These included Alan Ferguson, head of grounds and estates at St George's Park, Karl Standley, the head groundsman at Wembley Stadium, plus Lee Jackson and Andy Gray, head groundsmen at Manchester City and Southampton respectively.
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