Award-winning Raiders are on their way to Wembley

Boys and girls flocked to Berkhamsted Raiders' annual football tournament
Boys and girls flocked to Berkhamsted Raiders' annual football tournament

Berkhamsted Raiders will head to Wembley this month to be honoured for their contribution to grassroots football after winning the prestigious FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year Award.

Now in their fifth year, The FA and McDonald’s Community Awards recognise and celebrate the volunteers, coaches, clubs and leagues across England whose hard work is vital to keeping grassroots football alive in their local community.

Since 1996, Berkhamsted Raiders has grown in size to now provide football for 700 young players in the area, with children of all ages and abilities welcome at the club.

The club is one of the best in the county for inclusivity through its commitment to the local community, with more than 85 per cent of members coming from Berkhamsted and Northchurch.

The club’s voluntary needs are met by a talented group of coaches and referees, who are encouraged to take external coaching qualifications and participate in running the club.

Berkhamsted Raiders work closely with schools, as well as the parish council, to ensure sports facilities in the area are well maintained and looked after.

Above all, what’s most evident is the club’s commitment to enjoyment and participation for all.

Raiders representatives will join World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst Geoff on the pitch to collect their award in front of an expected crowd of 90,000 fans at half-time at this year’s FA Community Shield clash between Premier League winners Manchester City and FA Cup holders Arsenal.

McDonald’s director of football, Sir Geoff said: “Clubs like Berkhamsted Raiders CFC keep the grassroots game alive in this country.

“Their efforts give children and adults of all abilities the opportunity to enjoy and participate in the beautiful game in a safe environment, and without them the game we know and love couldn’t exist.”