Brian Stevens

Stroud News and Journal:

Brian has refereed more than 3,100 football matches in a career that brought him face-to-face with legends of the game.

He took charge of three games at Wembley stadium but continued refereeing Gloucestershire youth games at the same time and helped train more than 150 referees.

Brian said: “I am over the moon and feel very humbled that I have been shortlisted. Having reached the very top level as a referee, I have always tried to encourage and give something back to local football.

“I would like to thank whoever nominated me and congratulate all the other nominees who have been shortlisted.”

Damian Lai

Stroud News and Journal:

Damian has completed an incredible journey from 20-stone man to 20-time marathon runner.

He has lost more than seven stone since he first joined Dursley Running Club in 2015.

Damian has also completed Ironman events and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Clubmates have said he is ‘inspiring to so many’.

Damian said: “It was truly a surprise to learn that I had been nominated.

“I feel really humbled and honoured to be considered a sporting hero and this nomination is not just for me, but for all the leaders and helpers at Dursley Running Club who continually support and encourage others.”

Chris Brown

Chris is the manager of Stroud Town Youth FC.

He looks after the club’s under 13 and under 5 teams, who take part in matches and tournaments.

Chris even cuts the grass and paints the lines on the pitch when required.

The person nominating him said: “Chris is idolised by all the kids he trains. They would not find a better coach. He is totally devoted to these lads.

“There would be no Stroud Town Youth FC if not for Chris. He has changed so many kids’ lives by teaching them respect and giving them skills to become the brilliant players they are individually and as a team.”