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Club News


4 October 2016

Community Trust and Club volunteer Frank Melling recognised for outstanding contribution to the club at all levels.

  • Frank Melling nominated for the MBNA Northwest Football Awards Unsung Hero award.
  • After retiring from the police force in 2006, Frank has helped the club at numerous levels.
  • Frank has worked with young players such as Callum McManaman, Tim Chow, Jordan Flores and Luke Burke.
A Wigan Athletic volunteer has reached the final of the MBNA Northwest Football Awards Unsung Hero category.

After retiring from the police force in 2000 – following 32 years of service – Frank’s passion and endeavour to help on a voluntary basis has been second to none, he has worked with the Wigan Athletic Community Trust for over a decade whilst also volunteering for the Wigan Athletic academy as a driver for the last four years. 

Frank is passionate about disability football and the opportunities for everyone being equal, whilst he also sits on the Greater Manchester Ability Counts Football League committee and has been chairman for the last three years.

He became involved in the committee of GMACFL early in season 2012/13 and was asked to help prevent the league becoming insolvent and going out of existence. Frank took responsibility for resolving the league's debt's and forming a new committee.

In the 2013/14 season Frank was Manchester County FA Volunteer of the Year for grassroots football and runner up in the GMACFL Gold Award in the national FA Grassroots Respect Awards, before being named as a finalist in the Wigan Athletic Community Trust Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Speaking about why Frank should win the award, Academy Manager Gregor Rioch said: “Frank’s tireless support to the Wigan Athletic academy is incredibly appreciated and the work he puts in for no gain of his own is admirable.

“A true gentleman, Frank has a great rapport with the young players and he has worked with some of the players that we have seen develop to the first team, including Callum McManaman, Tim Chow, Jordan Flores and Luke Burke, when taking them to different colleges, training and matches over the past four years.”

Two nights a week Frank is attending disability football coaching sessions, twice a month he drives the minibus to Salford on a Friday night to transport players, he takes the minibus to different Community Trust events and provides transport where necessary, he also supports and mentors our junior coaches in working with young people with disabilities. 

Frank will find out if he has won the award on Monday 14th November 2016 at the final ceremony at Emirates Old Trafford, competing with the other three finalists Michael Kinsella (Tranmere Rovers), Phil Mason (Bolton Wanderers) and Rose Woolrich (Manchester City).

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