HARTLEPOOL Schools FA have saluted their stars of 2011-12 at the third annual football awards.
Hartlepool College of Further Education again successfully staged the function, this time at their new state-of-the-art facility on Stockton Street.
Pools first-team coach Neale Cooper was the guest of honour, handing out the prizes.
John Hewitson, the club’s head of youth development, was also there, along with the town’s mayor, Stuart Drummond, and Hartlepool College of FE’s head football coach Ian Clark.
But the stars of the show were the footballers.
Each of Hartlepool’s five senior schools nominated a pupil for the town’s player of the year for the five age groups.
All five nominees got on stage to receive momentoes from Cooper, but there could only be one winner.
High Tunstall’s Matthew Ridley took the Yr7 prize with the Yr8 trophy going to James Snowdon, of St Hild’s.
Dyke House’s Alan Harrison clinched the Yr9 silverware while the Yr10 and Yr11 prizes both went to Manor College of Technology, Matthew Wilkinson and Jassem Sukar the recipients.
The main award of the evening was the Hartlepool Mail team of the year.
In the three-year history of the competition, the judges had not faced such a tough choice for the award – High Tunstall’s all conquering Yr8 team, Amsterdam Cup winners Hartlepool U15, Tunstall’s Yr10 English Schools FA Cup warriors and English Martyrs Yr11.
And it was English Martyrs’ representatives who were called on stage to get the trophy from sponsor Joe Palmer, of Hartlepool Drive Vauxhall.
Martyrs had enjoyed an incredible final year together, winning the Town League and Cup and the eight-a-side, an amazing treble given they had not won a trophy in the previous four years.
Overall, it proved a great evening, brilliantly organised (as always) by Hartlepool Schools FA secretary Danny Evans, and superbly compered (again) by the excellent Les Watts.