Laura Rafferty and Solly March have been given PFA Community Champion awards in recognition of their support for Albion in the Community (AITC) this season.
Professional football clubs throughout the country were asked to nominate a player from their men’s team and one from their women’s team who epitomise the support shown by players to their local community.
Matt Dorn, chief executive officer at AITC, was tasked with selecting two players from within the Albion squads and decided on Laura and Solly, who were presented with their awards last week.
Speaking at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre shortly after handing over the awards, Mr Dorn said, “At AITC we incredibly fortunate in that we receive fantastic support from across the Premier League and WSL 2 squads and it was difficult to select two players from the large number that have got involved with our work this season.
“Laura became our first-ever official ambassador from within the WSL 2 squad and has attended a variety of AITC sessions this season, including an anti-racism event and a number of programmes delivered by our schools team.
“She takes every effort to engage with our participants and Laura is well-known for the lengths she goes to in order to provide a positive role model to young people throughout the area.
“As a local player now playing in the Premier League, Solly provides a fantastic example to the young people participating in our programmes about what can be achieved with hard work, talent and dedication.
“He has been to more AITC sessions this season than any other player, including a visit to his old school, attending an inclusion day in Whitehawk and meeting participants at one of our sessions for young players who have a disability.
“Both players are fully deserving of their awards. Our thanks go to Laura and Solly – and indeed, all the players from both squads – for their fantastic support this season.”