STROUD MP David Drew was in for a surprise when attending an end of season youth presentation.

Believing he was just dishing out gongs to members of joined Rodborough Youth FC, the grassroots football fan received an unexpected award of his own from the Gloucestershire FA, who honoured him as a Grassroots Champion in recognition of his support for the grassroots game in Stroud.

At the event, David also met with girls from the Rodborough SSE Wildcats which is an initiative designed to inspire girls aged between 5-11 to be involved in the sport. Across Gloucestershire, 38 SSE Wildcats Centres are being delivered and the number of girls participating in Stroud has continued to grow at pace with plans now in place to start an U8 team later this year. For more information, visit

This visit is part of the #FootballFootprint Campaign which is being run by The FA, the not-for-profit national governing body for the game in England, in conjunction with local County FAs. The campaign is giving MPs an opportunity to meet with the army of workers and volunteers that make grassroots football possible at a local level and to visit showcase sites, initiatives and matches.

David said: “I was delighted to be named a Grassroots Champion because I’ve always supported grassroots football, having played for many years and being a staunch supporter of Forest Green. I was very pleased to visit Rodborough and the SSE Wildcats to see what they are doing with children aged four and up. Their enthusiasm, skill and commitment is remarkable, and evident from the number of coaches that are available for each year group. I was more than impressed with the brilliant footballers, as well."

Matt Boucher, football development manager at the Gloucestershire FA said: “We were delighted to show David some of the great work being done locally to support grassroots football. Our staff and volunteers help the Gloucestershire FA support over 2,400 teams in the county so we were thrilled to participate in the FA’s #FootballFootprint campaign which champions their hard work and dedication to the game.”