Bury fan and volunteer Amanda Freeman was honoured this week at the Isuzu National Game Awards in London.
Mandy picked up the Unsung Hero Award, for which she was nominated for following her passing earlier this month.
Two of Mandy’s teammates from her recreational women’s team Diane Dobson & Caroline Suttie collected the award on her behalf at AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane.
Speaking to the Bury Times Diane said: “When it was Bury FC, she used to be a lifelong supporter with her dad. She was devastated, as were many people in the town when Bury FC went, but she just wanted to follow football in Bury and when Bury AFC was created, she just wanted to support them.
“She used to be there at the tunnel, greeting players out on a matchday, and she would be there painting and cleaning and selling tickets and fundraising, for Bury AFC men and women.
“In non-league, no club has got a lot of money, so they rely on volunteers to get out there and do the work. Fortunately, we have got a lot of people that love the team, it is a labour of love, and they will go out and do it.”
Bury fans and the wider football community raised £5,620 for costs towards her funeral.
Mandy was also recently honoured at the Bury AFC end-of-season awards, being named Volunteer of the Year.
Football Board Chair, Marcel De Matas said: “Mandy was a lifelong Bury supporter and one of the unsung heroes of Bury AFC. From the inception of the Phoenix club through to her untimely death, Mandy involved herself in everything from fundraising to match day stewarding and did so with a smile on her face, making many friends along the way.
“She was at the heart of all things great about Bury AFC and was pivotal to the family ethos and community feel around the club. She’ll be sorely missed by her many friends, and we just wish she was here to see the return of football to her beloved Gigg Lane.
“Her dedication to the Bury cause for very many years and the enthusiasm for volunteering, that shone through, even during periods of ill health, truly made Mandy a worthy winner of the Unsung Hero Award for 2023”.