In its tenth anniversary year, the Leesa Northwest Football Awards has announced the recipient of its inaugural Impact Award is James Milner.
The new award recognises the significant positive impact on football in the region and in particular his work off the pitch, through the James Milner Foundation, which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help positively change the lives of many people.
The inaugural Impact Award will be presented at the Leesa Northwest Football Awards on Monday, 13th November at The Point, Emirates Old Trafford, in front of over 550 guests.
James’s work includes working with children’s charity, the NSPCC; the blood cancer charity, Bloodwise; and Help For Heroes.
In addition, the James Milner Foundation has helped to provide sporting and educational opportunities for young people across the entire North of England, including funding Sports Camps in Liverpool; the GB Deaf Football Team and Dominoes Netball in Manchester; as well as the Leeds Rhinos Foundation.
On the field, James has spent a significant period of his career in the Northwest and he is currently vice-captain of Liverpool Football Club, whom he joined in 2015 after five seasons with Manchester City Football Club.
The 31-year-old, originally from the Wortley area of Leeds in Yorkshire, joined the Leeds United youth academy in 1996. He made his debut for the Leeds first team in 2002, aged only 16, and gained prominence as the youngest player to score in the Premier League.
He has also played for Swindon Town, Newcastle United and Aston Villa – where he was named the 2009–10 PFA Young Player of the Year. He has also represented the full England national team on 61 occasions.
James Milner said: “When I heard that the Leesa Northwest Football Awards judging panel were planning to recognise me for my work both on and off the pitch, I was hugely honoured. This is not just an award for me, but for all those who have supported the Foundation since its inception, and all those we have been able to help through our crucial work.
“I am lucky that I get to do a job that I love every day, and it is very special to me that I am able to use this as a force for good to help so many others.
I am grateful to the Leesa Northwest Football Awards for honouring me in this way.”
Laura Wolfe, managing director of Wolfesport and the Leesa Northwest Football Awards said: “The awards are all about recognising the good, the great and the un-sung of the beautiful game in the region.
“To mark our tenth anniversary year, we are delighted to introduce a new Impact Award and its inaugural recipient, James Milner, truly deserves the recognition when you consider his success on the pitch, but additionally, and equally importantly, his time and contribution off it – using his status to enrich the lives of so many people.
“James has scored goals, won trophies and had a very successful career to date – but he has also used his position for so much good, significantly contributing to and positively impacting the wider communities where he has played the game, in Manchester, on Merseyside, in Yorkshire and indeed across the UK.
“James isn’t particularly known for courting the limelight, but we wanted to recognise the fantastic work he does through his Foundation and the example he sets.
“We are really proud of the clubs, businesses and organisations in our region that are truly leading the way and setting an example for the rest of the UK, across both the men’s and women’s games.”