League honour its stars both on and off the field

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - SPORT -

MID­DLES­BROUGH’S re­cent Un­der 23 sign­ing Lewis Wing and some of the big­gest clubs and best known faces in Teesside’s non­league foot­ball scene were among the win­ners at the an­nual North­ern League awards.

Wing won the Bob More­land Young Player of the Year award for his im­pres­sive dis­plays for Shildon, which in­cluded 27 top flight goals and earned him a move to Cham­pi­onship club Boro.

Out­go­ing Billing­ham Town chair­man Peter Mar­tin was named the league’s Un­sung Hero for his “un­stint­ing work at the club”.

Town’s Craig Hutchin­son - who had a trial at Hartle­pool United this sea­son - re­ceived the Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer in the sec­ond divi­sion af­ter scor­ing 51 goals for the im­prov­ing Bed­ford Ter­race-based side who fin­ished fifth. Stock­ton Town are £2,000 bet­ter off af­ter win­ning North­ern League Divi­sion Two in their first sea­son since com­ing up from the Wear­side League.

They picked up £1,200 for win­ning the ti­tle and an­other £800 at the pre­sen­ta­tion night as Divi­sion Two Fair Play Award win­ners.

Billing­ham Town and Billing­ham Syn­tho­nia both re­ceived £300 as joint win­ners of the Divi­sion Two Re­spect Award.

And pro­moted Syn­ners picked up an­other £300 as one of 10 clubs who won a Divi­sion Two Ad­min­is­tra­tion Award for “com­plet­ing the sea­son with­out in­cur­ring an ad­min­is­tra­tive penalty”.

For­mer Boro mid­fielder Julio Arca’s club South Shields were among the main award win­ners fol­low­ing an all-con­quer­ing cam­paign which took them to Wem­b­ley.

The Mariners’ joint man­agers Lee Pic­ton and Gra­ham Fen­ton were awarded the League Man­ager of the Year prize for lead­ing the club to an his­toric quadru­ple win of the Ebac North­ern League ti­tle, FA Vase, Brooks Mile­son League Cup and Durham Chal­lenge Cup.

The an­nual awards cer­e­mony took place at Ram­side Hall Ho­tel in Durham and saw more than £20,000 in prize money handed out to clubs and in­di­vid­u­als.

“It has been a mo­men­tous year for the Ebac North­ern League, with some great foot­ball along with tremen­dous achieve­ments by clubs and in­di­vid­ual play­ers,” said North­ern League chair­man Glenn Young­man.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to South Shields on their re­mark­able suc- cess and to all of the win­ners. We’re proud that North­ern League clubs are such an im­por­tant part of com­mu­ni­ties in the re­gion.

“I’d also like to thank John El­liott at Ebac for his won­der­ful sup­port of our league.”

Now-for­mer Billing­ham Town chair­man Peter Mar­tin is stay­ing on at the club as sec­re­tary but said it is “time to let some­one younger have a go” as chair­man af­ter be­ing flat­tered to win the Un­sung Hero award.

Mar­tin, who has had a 30-year as­so­ci­a­tion with the club, has handed on part of his du­ties to boss Barry Oliver who has taken on a man­ager-chair­man’s role at Town for the time be­ing.

“It was a nice sur­prise to re­ceive the award be­cause I don’t do the job be­cause I want to be recog­nised, I do it be­cause I en­joy it and love foot­ball,” he said.

“But the time has come for me to step down as chair­man.

“We beat Willing­ton 6-1 this sea­son and I only saw one goal be­cause I was that busy do­ing other things.

“I just want to watch some foot­ball now.

“We’ve got our 50th an­niver­sary sea­son com­ing up and it would be nice to end it with pro­mo­tion.”

Peter Mar­tin

Craig Hutchin­son

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