Special medal award for Rob

Rob Gifford and son James
Rob Gifford and son James
Have your say

Grassroots football hero Rob Gifford travelled to Buckingham Palace to receive one of the prestigious FA 150 anniversary medals.

Rob (49), of West Walton, received the medal from Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, with his eldest son James watching.

Rob had taken James with him because it was through him he started his interest in grassroots football around 14 years ago.

The award comes within days of Rob receiving a top Cambs FA award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to community football.

Speaking about his day at the Palace, Rob said Prince William congratulated everyone on their achievements. Tribute was paid to all the recipients and there were citations about each person.

The medal has the FA 150 logo and says Grassroots Hero for exceptional services to football.

Said Rob: “It is such an honour. It is difficult to express. I still can’t believe I have ended up with one.”

He said it was special having James with him adding: “He is the reason I got involved in children’s football. It was a special day.”

After the ceremony, in which Rob also received a commemorative certificate, recipients and guests were invited into the Palace gardens to watch a football match.

Rob has been involved in Wisbech Acorns Youth FC for around 12 years, coaching all ages and only recently stepped down as chairman.

His impressive grassroots contribution locally has also included volunteering for Cambs FA in Wisbech, acting as Wisbech Town FC’s youth development community officer and Wisbech Town FC Football in the Community Scheme.

Rob was also involved in community sport development at Marshland High School and helped to form and coach March Leverets girls and a team at Leverington.