Berkhamsted Raiders thrilled with visit from England legend John Barnes

John Barnes gives advice to youngsters at Berkhamsted Raiders.
John Barnes gives advice to youngsters at Berkhamsted Raiders.

Berkhamsted Raiders enjoyed a morning with England legend John Barnes when the ex-Watford and Liverpool player visited the club to help promote the 2013 FA Community Awards,

The club was the winner of the Regional FA Chartered Standard Community Club award at last year’s FA Community Awards and has continued to develop since then.

The Raiders currently boast 56 teams – starting with the U7s and going all the way through to the adult and veterans teams.

There seven girls teams and a ladies team, and a total of around 700 children play football at the club.

Whilst in Berkhamsted, Barnes caught up with Raiders chairman Keith Pollard and watched a training session, before taking questions about his own grassroots career and his community heroes.

He said: “Grassroots football is the lifeblood of the national game and without it football simply wouldn’t exist.

“The coaches and volunteers who sacrifice their time for these young footballers are priceless and deserve all the recognition they get from the FA Community Awards.

“I still remember the various coaches to this day standing in the rain when I was a young player for my local team. They wanted us to play well but more importantly to just have fun.”

Pollard added: “It was a fabulous day for the club as John is a real hero here and to see him with the kids, talking about his career and overseeing today’s training session will stay with us all for a long time.

“Winning the regional FA Chartered Standard Community Club award last year was a great boost for the club and it was fantastic to see all of our hard work paying off.

“At Berkhamsted we strive to offer grassroots football to the entire community and ensure that as many children as possible can enjoy the game we love so much.”

Nominations for the 2013 FA Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s, are now open.

To vote for a football coach, club or volunteer go to