Youth football volunteer Andy Alcorn wins NI Unsung Hero

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Get Inspired: Football coach Andy Alcorn wins BBC Northern Ireland award

Andy Alcorn has won the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero for Northern Ireland for his work with young footballers in the Coleraine area.

Andy has been at the helm of the Coleraine FC Academy since it was set up in 2008, providing a wide range of activities for thousands of people.

He has also spearheaded the local Small-Sided Games Centre.

It now has more than 1,000 children between the ages of seven and 12 playing on 16 pitches.

In addition, Andy is chairperson of the Harry Gregg Foundation, named in honour of the former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper.

Andy and his 80-strong team of Foundation volunteers have been at the forefront of developing a range of community projects in the area including mental health, first aid, child protection training and working with Coleraine Special Olympics.

"I am humbled and very proud to have been nominated by my fellow volunteers, all of whom must share in this accolade," said Andy.

"To see how popular and readily established the work of the Harry Gregg Foundation has become is satisfaction in itself. It works on the very simple principle of creating opportunities which may just inspire dreams."

Recent BBC Northern Ireland Unsung Hero winners
2015: Damien Lindsay, St James Swifts football coach
2014: Mervyn Smyth, Ballinamallard youth football
2013: Sam McBurney, Newforge Taggers Tag Rugby Club
2012: Leonard Blakely, Moneyslane Football Club
2011: Sean McGoldrick, Eoghan Rua GAA
2010: Carmel Gorman and Seamus McAnee, Derry Swimming Club

Alison Wallace , who nominated Andy, described the award winner as an inspiration.

"He has selflessly devoted his spare time to innovatively lead and inspire programmes that have seen thousands of youngsters develop their sporting and social abilities, and at the same time being a husband, father and holding down a full-time job."

Harry Gregg said: "The coaches give their time for the future and benefit of children. What they do every Saturday morning is incredible, helping thousands of young boys and girls.

"I am so proud of it. It is giving the chance for children to progress and express themselves through football."

Andy will be among 15 regional winners from across the United Kingdom.

The overall UK winner will be announced during the BBC Sports Personality of The Year Awards, which will be held in Birmingham on Sunday, 18 December.

Last year's Northern Ireland winner, Damien Lindsay, went on to lift the overall UK award at the event which was held in Belfast.