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East Midlands Chamber News

Sleetmoor stalwart set for first-class honours celebration thanks to Purpose Media

The honorary life member of Sleetmoor United Football Club is gearing up for a luxury day out in London to celebrate his New Year Honour, thanks to local marketing agency Purpose Media.

Barry Newton, of Alfreton, has given more than 40 years of voluntary service to the Swanwick-based club and was awarded a British Empire Medal by HM The Queen for services to grassroots football and young people in Derbyshire.

He will collect his honour at a special Royal garden party and investiture ceremony, at Buckingham Palace, in May.

Barry was nominated for the honour by Purpose Media Managing Director Matt Wheatcroft. Matt was Chairman of Sleetmoor United until he stepped down in September 2019 and has seen at first hand the support and dedication that Barry has shown both to the club and to helping thousands of young people over the years.

To help Barry mark the occasion, Purpose Media is treating him to a luxury experience on the day he collects his medal, pledging to buy him a new suit, first-class train tickets and an overnight stay in a top London hotel for he and his wife, Janet.

Matt said: “I’ve known Barry for several years and am awe-inspired by the selfless service he has given to the club over the past four decades. I nominated him when I was Sleetmoor Chairman some 18 months ago and I’m pleased he’s finally got recognition at the right level for his dedication and service over the years. 

“He’s been tirelessly helping the club and scores of local youngsters during that time, working many hours a week in all weathers to keep the club ticking over. Barry is an incredibly modest and humble guy who would never put himself forward for anything like this, which is why I wanted to nominate him, because if anyone deserves an honour for serving the local community in such a way, it’s Barry.

“To make the day extra special, we’re delighted to be sending Barry and his wife on a no expenses spared trip to London to mark his fantastic achievement.”

Sleetmoor United was founded in January 2017, when ADASC FC, GFC Alfreton Girls and Ladies and Leabrooks Juniors Football Club joined together to form a single club with a united vision.

Barry served in a variety of voluntary roles at ADASC, including head groundsman, secretary and coach, and was Club Chairman on three separate occasions. He was made Honorary Life President of Sleetmoor United when the club was founded and is still a volunteer coach at the club and an active committee member.

Over the years, he has helped to develop the football and life skills of thousands of local youngsters, while several players he has coached have gone on to reach the highest levels of the professional game, including former Manchester United goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington and ex-Barnsley winger Martin Bullock, who supported his honours nomination along with Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills.

Barry said: “I was both shocked and proud when I learned I was to be given this honour from HM The Queen. It’s an incredibly humbling experience. I don’t do what I do for the recognition, I do it for the love of football and a passion for helping young people and seeing them grow, not only as footballers but also as teammates and people.

“My ethos has always been to equip the young players I coach with the skills they need to lead happy, fulfilling lives, which is what has kept me going for the past 40 years.

“I’d like to thank Matt for putting me forward for this honour, but most of all thanks to all the parents I’ve met, the players I’ve coached and the people I’ve worked with along the way for all the support they’ve given to me.”

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