Glynn scoops the Lancashire F.A.
Charter Standard Coach of the Year

Our very own Glynn Thompson has been recognised by our governing body for his contribution to Harwood Rovers.

Our Head Coach for the Rovers'  "Mini League" has been with the Club for 10 years in which time he has made a massive contribution to the bedrock of the Club. He is the first friendly face seen by youngsters when they join at 5-6 years of age. Glynn and his team introduce youngsters to fun football, before they move on to the under sevens.

Glynn's enthusiasm and passion when working with young footballers is one of the main reasons he has received this prestigious award. Everyone in the Club is proud of his achievement.

Lancashire Evening Telegraph August 2007

UNSUNG hero Glynn Thompson has finally been rewarded for getting hundreds of kids hooked on football.

The mini-league manager at Great Harwood Rovers has been named Lancashire FA Charter Standard Coach of the Year for his pioneering work with players as young as five.

Glynn, 56, now goes through to the regional and national finals of the FA's search for the country's top coach.

To say I was surprised is an understatement," he said after being presented with his trophy at the club.

"I didn't even know I was up for the award. No-one at the club told me they had even nominated me for it.

"It's a massive honour - for the club, not for me personally.

"But it certainly makes me feel what I do is worthwhile and appreciated."

Glynn has spent a decade running the youngest section at Great Harwood Rovers for tots aged five and six.

He admits he finds the job "fantastically rewarding" watching players develop basic skills and then move up through the age groups and, in some cases, on to professional clubs like Blackburn Rovers, Burnley and Bolton Wanderers.

"We have had a few go on to academies and centres of excellence," he said. "There is one lad in particular, who is at Bolton, who is developing very well.

"It's great when you see them reach such a high standard and you can remember the first day they arrived, hardly able to kick a ball.

"It's great to get an award like this. But I don't do it for that, none of us do. We do it because that's who we are and that's what we love doing."

Glynn joined Great Harwood Rovers almost by accident after taking one of his grandsons to a training session at the club.

"Luke wanted to have a go at football when he was about five and so I just took him along to Great Harwood to see if he liked it," he explained.

"He got hooked on it and so did I. The chap who was coaching the kids emigrated to New Zealand shortly afterwards and I was asked if I wanted to take over.

"I said yes' and that was that. I was sent away on coaching courses and I've been there ever since.

"That was 10 years ago. Luke has gone right through the junior section and will be playing for the under-16s this season.

"I've also got three other grandsons all playing for the club. Karl will be in the under-11s this year, Ethan is in the under-10s and Brodie has just left me and moved up to the under-7s.

"But that isn't the end of it because there is a fifth one, Devon, who is just two and a great-grandson Malachi of the same age. So who knows, maybe they will be coming here in another three years or so.

"I suppose it is a bit of a family affair now with five of us here and another couple still to come.

"I didn't have any sons of my own, I had four daughters. So I have become involved in local football as a granddad not a dad.

"But it is such a wonderful club, the boys couldn't be at a better place."

Great Harwood Rovers was one of the first 36 clubs in the country to earn the prestigious FA Charter Standard Award back in 2001 and now fields as many as 18 teams from minis through to under-16s and then open age.

Glynn is the first coach that players aged five and six encounter and he teaches them the rudiments of the game before handing them on to the under-7s squad.

"When they arrive many can't kick a ball properly and they don't have any footballing skills," he said. "But when they leave me they understand the game and they can play. They have skills.

"It's all about developing them as players. But, most importantly, it's about making sure they enjoy it. That's what it is all about.

"It is fantastically rewarding when parents come up to you and say their kids can't wait to come to training on a Saturday morning, even when it is pouring down. You know then they are loving it.

"I've seen lads, like my own grandson, go right through to the under-16s and that is nice to see them still playing for the club.

"I try and watch all my four grandsons as much as I can. I end up having to try and divide my time so that I get to see them all the same amount of times.

"But I am also a Blackburn Rovers season-ticket holder and have been for 30 years or more. So I have to find time to watch them every other week as well.

"With all that going on there isn't a day in the week I'm not watching or coaching football. But I wouldn't change it for anything."