Dulwich Hamlet’s Farouk Menia was crowned Grassroots Coach of the Year at the FA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2020.
The virtual awards ceremony took place last week.
The awards celebrate the efforts of volunteers across England who go the extra mile to support their local communities and are normally presented at Wembley Stadium, before the winners are guests of honour at the curtain raiser for the football season – the Community Shield.
Soon after arriving in the UK, Menia became the coach of AFC Phoenix, a women’s team that eventually merged with Dulwich Hamlet during his seven-year tenure.
A passionate man with all the qualities you could want in a coach, his impact and effect on the team culture was huge and immediate. He brought the players together not only as a team, but as an extended family.
On a tiny budget, the team thrived against big clubs including QPR Ladies and Fulham Women, succeeding thanks to Farouk’s dedication and coaching abilities.
Despite battling cancer over recent years, he continued to coach and encourage his players, often in the rain and freezing cold. Sadly, just prior to lockdown and in the middle of the season, Farouk Menia passed away. He will be forever remembered for all he gave to his club.
Nominations are now open for the 2021 FA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards. To nominate a grassroots hero, go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards.
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.