ALBION Foundation stalwart Helen Fisher is to be honoured at a special ceremony hosted by HRH Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace on Monday in recognition of her outstanding service to community football.
Helen is one of 150 people whose contribution to the game will be recognised at an event that forms part of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
Helen played an instrumental role in establishing the Sporting Club Albion Ladies team – then known as West Bromwich Albion Ladies – back in 1998, working as a volunteer for eleven years (1998-2009) before becoming a part-time member of staff in 2009.
What makes Rubery-based Helen’s efforts even more remarkable is that she has been battling breast cancer for the last nine years and retired last summer from her role as secretary at the Albion Foundation – West Bromwich Albion’s charitable arm which runs Sporting Club Albion.
During her 15 years’ service, Helen oversaw the administration of the ladies team as they progressed from the FA Women’s Midland Combination League to the Premier League (Northern Division).
Albion Foundation Director, Rob Lake, who nominated Helen for the award, said: “During her long service, Helen has continually gone above and beyond the call of duty for the Albion Foundation.
“She organised all of the admin, fixtures, transport and training sessions and attended all of the games.
“She cleaned the changing rooms, made refreshments and got her husband, Rob, to look after the turnstiles. It’s no wonder the players call her ‘Mum’!
“This is worthy of recognition in itself but the fact she has done it while battling cancer for nine years makes it even more incredible.
“Helen is a truly amazing and inspiring woman who we have been honoured to have as part of our team.
“This honour and her trip to Buckingham Palace is fitting recognition for her outstanding service.”
The winners have been selected for their outstanding contribution and service to football – which includes everything from helping to develop the women’s game, providing opportunities for disabled players, grassroots referees as well as club and league administrators.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge, in his official capacity as President of The Football Association, will host the event and will present Helen with a medal to commemorate her achievements.
The event has been created to champion the huge role that volunteers play in football on a weekly basis.
The nationwide network of grassroots heroes totals more than 400,000 individuals – this includes everyone from the mums and dads, coaches, referees and administrators that give up their time to provide.