Team /Volunteer News

March 2023

Well done to Harvinder Singh, of Bradford City Disability FC, who after attending trials with 40 other players, at Pontefract Collieries FC on Sunday 12th March, has been chosen in the final 16 to play for the England Mencap team in the home Internationals in July against Scotland Wales Northern Ireland and Jersey at Pontefract Collieries FC!





February 2023

Jo Newby: The Yorkshire hero who has been honoured by London’s newest statue

A woman who has fostered more than 90 children is being honoured with a four metre high statue in central London which she hopes will give recognition to other local volunteers.

Jo Newby, 52, from Hull, is a foster carer and grassroots football coach, and was nominated by her husband Christopher Newby, 52, to be titled the UK’s kindest hero. The statue of Ms Newby is being erected as part of a campaign called #MyKINDHero by healthy snack bar brand, KIND, to promote and encourage acts of kindness. Ms Newby is being recognised for her work as a foster carer of nearly 20 years, in which time she has cared for 92 children and adopted one.

She also founded and co-ordinates three separate football teams for children in Hull within the Barton Inclusive Football Club, which was set up for disabled children and young people in the area.

“I hope people can see it in a really positive way, that it’s not necessarily about me,” she said: “It’s the embodiment of all foster carers and every grassroots football coach and volunteer. It’s more about representing those two really hard-working elements of our communities. Whilst the statue is a physical representation of me, it’s kind of a recognition to every foster carer, every grassroots volunteer.”

Ms Newby founded a new team after realising that there was not an FA accredited competitive football league for disabled under 16’s, like her son Casper, 14, to play in. She originally took Casper in as a foster child at 18 months old before adopting him and said he is “football mad”. Ms Newby helped to set up three pan-disability football clubs last year, which facilitate competitive football for both children and young adults regardless of their type of disability.

Ms Newby said: “I never really realised that standing rain soaked, freezing and covered in mud and washing sweaty kit would be so rewarding, but it really is. There are thousands of people across the country that do that week in, week out, for other people’s children and they deserve recognition. Because I think a lot of the parents who access this football will forget that actually, we are not paid, none of those people are paid, they are doing it out of love. Love of football and love of seeing young people being able to engage in sport.”

Ms Newby sleeps only two or three hours a night because of her duties as a foster mother but says she is “in her element” when looking after and helping children.

She said: “Fostering starts off as a job but it becomes a lifestyle. Every time the house is empty, I try to convince myself that it’s time to kick back a bit, put my feet up, maybe do a bit of decorating or have a holiday. But within a few weeks when I have done those things, or sometimes within a few days and I am ready to go again.”

During coronavirus, Ms Newby and her husband had seven children living in their home. The couple, who currently care for their adopted son Casper and two other foster children, do not plan to stop fostering any time soon.

Opportunities for casual workers at the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA.

There are opportunities for casual workers at the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA.  Please share the email  with your contacts or anyone that you think would be interested in supporting coaches and clubs to develop Disability football. 

If you need anymore information or if you are interested in applying and want to know more, please ring me Mobile: 07736 946696 or fill the application form by following the link below.

The Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA are looking for people who are passionate about grassroots football to help us grow the game.

With several assignments of work expected throughout the season, there will be opportunities to get involved in building relationships with our participants and stakeholders across all areas of the game.

Having some knowledge and experience in sports development or community activities is preferred, but we are predominately looking for people who can build rapport well with others, act as a positive role model and be an advocate for grassroots football.

Work Assignments 

Work assignments may be offered throughout the season across all areas of the game. Hours of work will be varied and may include evenings and weekends. A casual worker will earn approx. £25 per session/hour. 

We are currently looking for people who can support our Disability Football Ambassador programme and Recreational Football programmes.

Please click on the link below

SYACL junior rules

Rules for open age 5-a-side Junior teams have been added under the SYACL constitution tab.

Also rules for open age 7-a-side Junior teams have been added under the SYACL constitution tab.

Under 16’s are the same rules as adult 5-a-side.

Juniors U12 the players are allowed in the playing area.

This week in the news is Ian Whitehead a long-time Wednesday supporter and Ian agreed to take part in our Wednesdayite matchday program feature [reproduced below]. Ian is in the middle in this picture with on the left his son Alex, and to his  right, Conner. All three coach at Hillsborough Hornets. 

“Football is in my blood….”

 In our last programme column before Christmas, Wednesdayite extends the compliments of the season to the club’s players management and staff, and all our supporters. We hope you have a great Christmas.

Today, we chat with long-time Owl Ian Whitehead, Head Greenkeeper at Lees Hall Golf Club. A greenkeeper since the age of 17 as a YTS trainee at Hallamshire, Ian had 25 years at Hillsborough Golf Club before moving to Lees Hall in 2016.

A keen golfer, Ian loves football and cricket and spending time with his family – wife Hayley, their three children and two grandchildren.

Away from the fairways, Ian’s a massive figure in local disability football “I founded Hillsborough Hornets Disability FC in 2020,” he told Wednesdayite. “I’m Chairman, I coach the Under 12’s and help with our under 16’s and our new adult team.”

“Footballs in my blood,” Ian admits. “I’ve been coaching in kids’ football for around 20 years; I started off in mainstream, but my youngest son was diagnosed with ASD and couldn’t access mainstream football. We started at SWFC, moved on to Sheffield Rangers DFC then Sheffield DFC before we decided to do something for kids in the North of Sheffield.”

Ian started his personal journey with just 5 young players in Hillsborough Park. “We now have over 60 participants in Under 12’s, Under 16’s and Adults,” Ian explained. “We train at Wisewood Sports Centre on Saturdays, and we take part in league matches from October until March run by the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League.”

Ian’s first Wednesday game was a Third Division win over Grimsby Town in October 1979. “Terry Curran and Andy McCullough scored. I remember standing on the Kop with my dad and sister. It was a night game – after that it was in my blood!”

Asked about his favourite Wednesday memories, Ian says “I loved when we were playing in Europe. The 2004/5 Millennium Stadium Play-Off Final win, beating Sheffield United at Wembley, and any season when we do the double over the Blades.”

Lows? “Any relegation we have had; and losing 4-2 at home to Sheffield United in September 2017,” Ian admits.

We asked Ian about his favourite Wednesday player “I’ve seen some great players, but for me it must be David Hirst. His pace and strength were brilliant and if it not for a bad injury, he would have gone on to play for England for a long time.”

This season?  “I still don’t think we have played our best but it’s a results business – and at the minute we are right up there.”

“I don’t want the Play- offs, so let’s go up automatically!”

Enjoy the game!

Paul Holmes, Chair Wednesdayite

In the news is Barton Town’s Jo Newby.

Congratulations Jo, from SYACL we are so proud of you.

The HEY Smile FoundationTime2 Volunteer Sport Award winner 2022. 🎉

A parent of one of the BIFC – Hull players said today:

“One hell of a woman. ❤

Countless lifes you’ve touched and improved.”

We agree, and we couldn’t be luckier to have you championing us all. You do everything with heart and empathy, and we really hope you take the time to reflect on the monumental impact you’ve had on so many players and their families.

Here’s what Jo had to say:

“I’m blown away. I honestly can’t believe it, what an honour. I’m so humbled to have won this but every volunteer at BIFC deserves one too. Our club is the huge success it is because of each and every one of us and we do what we do because of the fabulous young people we train, none of us would have such purpose and drive if it wasn’t for them. BIFC isn’t a football club it’s a football family.”

Thank you Jo. ♥️⚽️