A LEADER footballing stalwart and charity fundraiser has been honoured for his services to sport in the Wrexham area.

Phil Jones, a freelance football reporter for the Leader, picked up the Services to Sport gong at the 2018 Wrexham Council Sports Awards, held in Brymbo.

Hew was nominated by Viv Reeves who said: " Phil has sustained a passionate commitment to grass roots sport since 1982 in a wide variety of capacities which has included such roles as secretary, chairman, manager, president and patron. "His forte clearly is fundraising with him hosting numerous sportsman’s evening's and arranging sponsorship opportunities, During this time has raised in excess of £200,000.

"He attends a mini football matches and three football matches every single week of the season capturing team pictures and action shots for use in the local press underpinned with supporting match reports."

From 1982 to 1995 Phil was secretary to Lex XI FC and was responsible for fundraising and producing the match day programme which was regularly voted the Best in Wales.

In 1995 he was on a shortlist of two to become the next Chief Executive of the Welsh Football Association but at the eleventh hour had to withdraw his application due to serious ill health of his father. Phil is now the proud club patron

From 1991-2017 he fulfilled the roles of manager, chairman and president at Marford and Gresford Albion Football Club, and from 2000 to 2015 was committee member and vice-chairman of Gresford Athletic Football Club.

Accountable for fundraising and publishing their match day programme, he won the Cymru Alliance programme of the year in consecutive years.

In !998, he joined the Wrexham and District Youth League as PR Officer and soon became vice-chairman and since 2014 he has been chairman.

The league under his strong leadership provides football opportunities to 3,000 youngsters.

Phil is also the co-founder of the Bob Williams Memorial Fund, Bob was his friend who died refereeing a local football match in 1998.

Since then he has organised an annual event in Bob’s memory and arranges a Grass Roots Sportsmanship Awards ceremony to recognise the achievements of unsung heroes in the fields of football, cricket, refereeing and administration.

He organises ‘A’ list celebrities to present the awards and these have included Alan Ball, Ron Atkinson, Paul Merson to name a few. Money raised at each event is then re-invested back into the local community.