Triumphant Tony Is Recognised For His Dedication To Sutton

Tony Henderson-Smith has become the first winner of the Vanarama National League Volunteer of the Year award.

In partnership with The Fan Experience Company and Supporters Direct, The National League has been recognising those unsung heroes across the 68 clubs within The National League competition.

Since February, three monthly winners have also been chosen from each of the three divisions, with Tony receiving the award for April in the Vanarama National League.

Tony is a long-term supporter of Sutton United, having watched his first match in 1959. Over the years he has been involved in a host of activities at the club.

His first involvement was organising the boys set up at the club, which now boasts 26 teams. Tony is a lifetime member of the supporters’ trust and was instrumental in obtaining Charter Standard Community Status for the club in February 2011, an award which has been renewed every year since.

He was also responsible for writing the Club’s Football Development Plan. Tony has also been instrumental in developing and implementing the Club’s Award-winning community programme with particular reference to the development of female and disability football - he has been awarded Sutton United Clubman of the Year and the Volunteer of the Year award by the Surrey FA.

Tony has been the iconic Jenny the Giraffe mascot for many years, visiting schools and attending charity events. His most current project is as Schools’ Liaison Officer working with schools to assist with their sports development.

Chairman of Sutton United, Bruce Elliott , said ''Tony has worked tirelessly to develop and enhance the club's standing in the community, and the high regard in which the club is now held is a testament to his efforts.

“As a club we are extremely grateful for all that he has done, and continues to do, and he richly deserves being recognised with such a prestigious award. We offer him our warm congratulations, and I understand that Jenny the Giraffe is also thrilled that one of her best friends has been honoured in this way!’’

Darren Young of The Fan Experience Company and Nicola Hudson of Supporters Direct presented the Volunteer of the Year award ton Tony Henderson-Smith at Celtic Manor on Saturday night.

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