A National FA Community Charter Club
Chris wins Inaugural Memorial Trophy
In January 1999, one of Hethersett Athletic's youth players, Lee Thompson, was tragically killed in a road accident.
The club decided to ensure that Lee's memory lived on in the form of a Memorial Trophy to be awarded at the end of each season to the person making an outstanding contribution to the club.
Each team nominates a person for the trophy. That person can be a player, administrator or even a supporter. In May 1999 the first ever Lee Thompson Memorial award went to Chris Steward for his outstanding leadership of the Under-17s team.
Below is a transcript of the full nomination sent in by the Under-17s team
manager Ian Harrison.
I have been involved for the past eight seasons with these boys from cubs football to the present U-17 team, missing one season.
Chris Steward has always been a very skilful and honest footballer. In the early days most of the players for some strange reason seemed to be about two foot shorter than the opposition and we would always be worried about the physical side of the game for some of our smaller players.
We need not have worried because up to the present season the skill and bravery displayed by my nominee has been a pleasure to be part of as has the attitude and teamwork of the entire U-17 squad.
Chris was given the added responsibility this season of becoming captain and he has led by example throughout the season. He is a good leader wherever he has been asked to play - full back, midfield, centre half or sweeper - he has accepted the job and given 110% throughout every game.
Chris has worked with me throughout, helping with the general running of the team. He has his input for team selection and has helped me considerably with his willingness to take on the role of coaching the boys during training sessions.
Before every game Chris has the boys on the pitch with warm up exercises and during the games he is constantly geeing the boys up with encouraging words or taking an offending player to task if the need arises.
His appearances in defence have been magnificent, his tackling, heading and passing and ability to pop up and score important goals have helped us to the position we currently hold.
This season has been for personal reasons to all the boys and parents and families one that will be with us for always. The terrible tragic loss of our teammate and dear friend Lee has affected everyone.
In the early days I was thinking of calling it a day, but with words of encouragement from the players we have kept the team going. After a month's break we returned to action. Chris stepped down from the captaincy to allow Lee's best friend Danny Gaskin to be skipper for the day. We won a very hard fought game against North Lynn 1-0.
On tackle in particular from Chris showed me and the watching parents that we still had Lee's ambitions to win the league.
I watched Chris play for his school against a Liverpool Under-19 representative side on a Sunday morning before our game in the afternoon. He had played two games on the Saturday as well, but still gave his all for his Hethersett side and would not let me rest him for any part of the game.
Chris Steward has been ever present this season. I am hoping to hear the familiar captain's call at some stage in coming matches "Dig in Boys."
Chris Steward certainly deserves this award and any watching players from U11 upwards would do well to follow the example our skipper sets himself and his teammates for every game he is involved in.