Glasses Are Raised At An Emotional Gala Awards Evening

By Sam Elliott

Celtic Manor played host to an emotion Gala Awards Evening for The National League on Saturday night.

Following the tragic announcement of the passing of Justin Edinburgh just hours before, the Leyton Orient manager was in everyone’s thoughts as glasses were raised to the 49-year-old.

None more so than when he was honoured with the Vanarama National League Manager of the Season after guiding the O’s back to the EFL in his first full season in charge.

After, Orient chief executive Danny Mackin gave a poignant and moving speech in honour of the departed champion.

All six promoted clubs from the three divisions took to the stage to collect their trophies, and share their experiences of a memorable season across the competition.

There was also reason for Stockport County and Torquay United to celebrate once more, as their managers who took charge during the campaign came away with the Manager of the Year award for their respective league.

Stockport County put an end to a six-year stay in the Vanarama National League North. Club legend Jim Gannon picked up the Manager of the Year award for his efforts this campaign.

In the South division, Gary Johnson was rewarded for making Torquay United’s short period in the sixth-tier a rather successful one, earning the annual accolade in the process.

Elsewhere, Wrexham’s Kerry Evans took home the Volunteer of the Year award. Thisaward helps recognise those unsung heroes helping clubs within The National League.

Kerry is the Disabled Liaison Officer at Wrexham, and has made a huge impact since taking on the role in early 2018, creating a more personal and welcoming feel to the matchday experience for disabled supportersat the Racecourse Ground.

Awards were also presented to three clubs to mark their efforts towards fair play and respect within The National League.

Dagenham & Redbridge, Ashton United and Gloucester City picked up this award for their respective divisions.

Finally, Kidderminster Harriers were winners of The National League Trust’s Best Community Project award.

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