2015 SPORTS AWARDS - UNSUNG HERO: Borough Rugby Club stalwart could be a sizzling choice

John Sismey (right) with some of his rugby club chums.
John Sismey (right) with some of his rugby club chums.
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The last of the 10 categories in the 2015 Peterborough Telegraph Sports Awards to come under the spotlight is the Unsung Hero award

Those included in our list of contenders are merely suggestions and that’s all they are. The choice is entirely down to you.

Colin Day.

Colin Day.

The top three in each category when voting closes on January 15 2016 will be invited to the annual awards bash at the Cresset on January 29 when the winners will be announced and the sponsors will present the trophies.


(sponsored by Peterborough Rugby Club)

Peterborough Rugby Club are generously supporting the Unsung Hero award and could well be presenting it to one of their own.

Julie Morton.

Julie Morton.

They’ve come up with someone they consider to be an ideal candidate for such an award in the shape of club stalwart John Sismey - a man who has devoted the last 40 years to the club.

Sismey was certainly a hero in his playing days, starring for the first team for a record-breaking 26 seasons from 1978 to 2004. His electrifying pace on the wing also saw him score more first team tries than anyone else.

But it was after he retired from first team rugby that the ‘unsung’ bit came into force. For the last 11 years he’s been a successful coach with the mini and junior section, and in 2011 he resurrected the senior second team and became their player/manager.

He’s also recently taken on the post of chairman of the Hunts and Peterborough RFU and has already introduced an improved coaching set-up for the youngsters linked with Northampton Saints.

Peterborough Rugby Club are sponsoring this award.

Peterborough Rugby Club are sponsoring this award.

A club spokesman said: “He’s devoted 40 years of his life to our club and he’s the most well liked member we’ve ever had. Everyone loves ‘Sizz’. He’s that kind of guy. He has put, and still does put, his heart and soul into Borough rugby.”

Another one-club wonder is Colin Day.

Colin is Brotherhood’s football through and through. He joined them as a player when he was 16 years-old and 50 years on he is still a big part of the club, who are now known as Peterborough Sports.

He’s served as manager, treasurer, secretary and chairman and is their life president.

“He’s always there at home games two hours before kick-off and makes the teas. He’s a true unsung hero,” said a Sports representative.

Geoff Gardner has clocked up even more years for one club. He joined Newborough Cricket Club when he was 14 and 64 years later he’s still very much a key man. He no longer plays but does a fantastic job as club groundsman.

Football provides us with plenty of behind-the-scenes workers who go above and beyond the call of duty to make their leagues or clubs tick.

The new Peterborough League chairman Clive Wilson has just completed 30 years unbroken service in local football despite having two pins put in his back to support his spine, while Peterborough FA chairman Tony Nash has served all areas of local football with distinction for more than 55 years.

The Northants FA, Peterborough FA, Peterborough League, Peterborough Sunday Morning League and Junior Alliance League have all benefitted from his expert knowledge over the years.

Being a football club secretary can be a thankless task, even when you’re only running one side. So spare a thought forAndy Mason.

Andy does a cracking job for Glinton and Northborough FC, who run no less than 23 teams. And all the leagues will tell you, he does it with the utmost efficiency.

Referees rarely get rewarded for outstanding service. One that should is Sarah Grundy.

Sarah (22) from Deeping has been a referee since she was 14 and has progressed up the ladder to Level 4 and has officiated in China and Croatia.

Her dedication and determination are an inspiration to her peers especially as she travelled back most weekends from university to referee locally.

Elsewhere City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS) secretary Jane Leigh and Peterborough BCKA martial arts instructor Ritchie Walton work tirelessly to make their clubs function so efficiently while Ian Nolan has done great work for 12 years with the special needs section of the city’s Nene Valley Harriers athletics club.


Tony Nash

55 years service to local football and still going strong.

Keith Hall

Founder member of Thorney Running Club who still acts as a volunteer official for UK Athletics well into his 70s.

Geoff Gardner

Newborough Cricket Club’s most senior citizen and their pride and joy. Good player for donkey’s years, now an even better groundsman.

Colin Day

Been involved with Brotherhoods (now Peterborough Sports) for over 50 years and in 2011 was made a life president of the club.

Clive Wilson

Long-serving Peterborough Football League administrator.

Matthew Dalton

Peterborough Athletic Club’s all-action chairman. You name it, he does it.

Fred Johnson

Well respected chairman of Peterborough Sunday Morning Football League.

Lawrence D’errante

Long-serving local soccer administrator, referee and groundsman.

Dave Lane

A decade of behind-the-scenes support of ice hockey in the city culminated in taking over ownership of the Phantoms this year.

Sarah Grundy

Gifted top football referee dedicated to her duties.

John Sismey

Peterborough Rugby Club stalwart. Long-serving, hard-working and fun-loving.

Ian Nolan

Coach at Nene Valley Harriers who for 12 years has developed the special needs section of the club with many of his athletes going on to win national medals. Also helps out with England MENCAP athletics and Alpine Skiing Special Olympics.

Ritchie Walton

Instructor whose behind-the-scenes organisation makes Peterborough BCKA kick-boxing club such a huge success. He has been a member for the last 22 years.

Martin Butterly

Referee who has just chalked up 25 years service to Peterborough football.

Andy Mason

Glinton and Northborough FC secretary looking after 23 teams!

Julie Morton

Has organised the Mini-Soccer Conference for Under 7s on a Saturday for 17 years.

Jane Leigh

Peterborough Swimming Club treasure. Works tirelessly at poolside as a starter and away from the pool as an ultra-efficient administrator. Also a big fund-raiser.

Brian Hawes

Has played badminton for Peterborough City for 52 years and skippered them for 45 years. He has also played competitive tennis for over 50 years for Perkins.

Jane Wilson

Hard-working chairman of City of Peterborough Hockey Club.

Reg Parker

Stll refereeing to a high standard aged 66.


Once again we are allowing readers to vote in the Peterborough Telegraph Sports Awards by text. Text your votes before midnight on Friday January 15, 2016 to 65550 starting your message with the code PETAWARDS then a space, then the abbreviated category name (see below) followed by the name of the person or team you wish to vote for. Please include your own name and address. You can vote in as many categories as you wish in one text message, but each message should contain no more than 160 characters. And don’t forget it’s strictly a maximum of five votes per number per category.

Category abbreviations: Sports Personality - SP; Sportsman - SM; Sportswoman - SW; Team - TM; Junior Sportsman - JM; Junior Sportswoman - JSW; Footballer - F; Junior Footballer - JF; Unsung hero - UH; Coach - C.

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