KENTISH FOOTBALL STATEMENT: I'm extremely proud and honoured to scoop The Kent Football Association Media Award for 2015
I am extremely proud and honoured to receive The Kent Football Association’s Media Award for 2015, which I will collect at Priestfield Stadium, the home of Gillingham Football Club on Monday 30 November 2015.
For those who know me, football is a big part of my life. I first started to support by then home-town club Bromley Football Club back in 1989.
AWARD: Your editor, Stephen McCartney, pictured at Wembley Stadium ahead of The FA Vase Final between Tunbridge Wells and Spennymoor Town in May 2013.
I attended The Ravensbourne School in Hayes Lane and first watched the Ravens against Basingstoke Town, losing 1-0, when the club were rooted to the foot of the Vauxhall League Premier (now Ryman Premier League) and suffered relegation at the end of that season.
When the club’s current chairman Jerry Dolke took charge of the club I asked if I could edit the club’s match day programme and improved the club’s media profile by writing content for the club’s website and realised I had a skill that I could develop.
Back in June 2003, I decided to run my own website, so www.kentishfootball.co.uk was born and the only managers I knew back then was the Bromley manager at the time, Stuart McIntyre, and Tommy Sampson, who was managing Dartford.
I built up contacts and through my hard work, determination and commitment, the website started to grow in the competitive world of football journalism.
Running the website is a hobby of mine – I have an office job in London – and running the website feels like a second job, although my ultimate ambition of mine is to grow into a full-time operation, but I require sponsors to be able to fulfil my dream.
I pride myself on covering clubs at all levels of the game, which includes National League, National League South, Ryman League, Southern Counties East Football League, Kent Invicta League, Kent County League, Women’s Football and Academy Football.
I wait after games to interview managers, use public transport to get back home to Tunbridge Wells getting home from midweek games on average after midnight and publish the match report and reaction and go to bed at around 02:30 so my readers can read the report in the morning.
As well as running the website I run live updates on Twitter with live match updates and link my website articles and snippets of news on this powerful social media tool.
Tonight’s FA Vase Second Round tie between Sutton Common Rovers and Beckenham Town will be my 83rd game of the season. Last season I covered 154 games and during season 2013-14, I reported on 153, so hope to reach at least 150 every season.
I have reported on the highs and lows of football. Naturally, the biggest highlight was to see my beloved Bromley win the Conference South title last season – the club’s first title since 1961 – and playing National League football for the first time in the club’s 123 year history is just amazing and being shown live on television for the first time makes me very proud to be a supporter of the club.
I have reported at Wembley Stadium twice, to see Ebbsfleet Untied win The FA Trophy in 2008 and Tunbridge Wells lose to Spennymoor Town in The FA Vase Final in 2013.
The worst moments of my life was the death of my dad to cancer in 2000 and being at Whyteleafe’s ground in July to see a Tonbridge Angels footballer Junior Dian collapse and die on the pitch during a game.
I would like to thank the people who have nominated me for this award and would like to dedicate this award to my late dad, who inspired me to do what I love the most – watching football and writing about it!
20 November 2015