FOUNDER member, manager and secretary of AFC Melksham Mike Rogers became the latest recipient of the Gordon Blatchford award, presented annually to an individual or club for their efforts in grass roots football.
The Chippenham & District Sunday League’s development officer, Rogers enjoyed a playing career at Larkhall, Frogwell, Rudloe and Corsham Town before setting up AFC Melksham for their debut in 2005-06.
Rogers oversaw the club winning the Ken Clarke Memorial six-a-side plate event in 2006-07 and finishing runners-up in Division Four.
With the club in Division Two, the 60 year old became club chairman – Mickey Hawkes guiding them to the 2009 WG Parr Trophy – before returning to the manager’s role to oversee successive promotions into the top flight.
Rogers, who has worked for the MOD for more than 40 years and was part of the Navy taskforce in the first Gulf War, later became the league’s development officer.
He is now involved in the Ability Counts scheme, giving youngsters with disabilities’ the chance to play football, Melksham having an U16/adult team and other coaching activities being set up throughout the county.
Rogers has also been heavily involved in clubs being given first aid training and level one coaching badge training.
FC Buscots’ Adam Bewley, one of Rogers’ nominees for the award, said: “His commitment to turn up week in, week out, even when his son was at university and he hadn’t any connection to the team, or when ill or when players had lost interest has to be admired.’’
Rogers, who picked up his awatd from league president Ken Clarke, has also been involved in a scheme to send old kit to Africa.