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CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE: Richie cleans up at league's big night
FORTUNE Inn hotshot Richie Bolter claimed his teammates deserved a lot of the credit for his sensational season after stealing the show at the Chippenham Sunday League’s annual awards last night.
The 21-year-old, who was born partially deaf in both ears, was named the league’s player of the season – and award sponsored by the Gazette & Herald – after his 51 goals, which also helped him to pick up the league’s Gloden Boot award at the event at Chippenham’s Gladstone club.
His side finished second in Division Four and clinched promotion in their first-ever campaign.
Striker Bolter, who also plays for Corsham Town Reserves on Saturdays and lives in Chippenham, hit seven goals in a 15-1 win over Trowbridge Town Supporters’ Club in March and hailed his best-ever Sunday season.
“I’ve improved in the three years I’ve been playing in the league – I scored 19 in my first season, 33 last season and now 51,” said Bolter, who works for Tesco.
“I’ve scored a lot of goals but a lot of it is down to my teammates who’ve made chances for me. It’s just my job to finish them off.
“I’ve also helped my team get promotion so that’s a good thing too.
“I scored most of my goals inside the box so a highlight was in the second game of the season when I scored a half-volley right into the top-left corner against Sportzcoach United.
“It came to me and everyone thought I should have taken a touch.
“Sunday football is all about getting to play with your mates and it’s definitely been a great season.”
Bolter plays with two hearing aids and added: “It’s something I’ve always had and it’s something that I’m pretty open about.
“I like to have a bit of a joke about it sometimes but I obviously don’t like it sometimes if someone tries to say something about it.
“If that happens though, I try and just get my own back by taking the ball past them and scoring.”
Bolter became the first player since Christian Malford’s Scott Evans in the 2004-05 campaign to scoop both the Golden Boot and player of the season accolades.
His closest top scorer challenger was Steven House who bagged 41 playing for Division four winner PSC Galaxy, while he also earned a superb 16 player of the match votes out of a possible 20 from his peers to take the player of the season honour.
Bolter started playing in the league for Pack Horse Rangers back in 2009, scoring 17 times to finish as their top marksman.
The following season he scored 28 times for the now-defunct outfit, finishing as joint leading scorer in Division Two. Joining Budge Hylands newly-formed Fortune Inn, he once again he showed he hadn’t lost his eye for goal.
Gazette & Herald sports editor Owen Houlihan presented Bolter with the award and £100 worth of sports vouchers.
Biddestone Social player-manager Dan Lardner topped the Premier Division scoring charts with 21, beating FC Bradford’s Mark Robinson by one goal.
FC Brunel's Adam O’Keeffe’s 20 goals won him the Division One’s top marksman.
Jake Sainsbury’s 19 goals for Steeple Ashton Rangers saw him pip Sutton Benger’s Matt White to the Division Two award, while Chris Yeo with 28 goals for Somerford, topped the Division Three charts.
MORE NEWS, REACTION & PICTURES FROM THE CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE'S AWARDS NIGHT AT THE SPECIAL LEAGUE SECTIONS AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK AND WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK AND IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES