JUNAID Jamil has been named Burton Albion’s fan of the year 2017/18, and received the George Rider Memorial Trophy during half-time in the win over Bolton Wanderers.
Junaid had three open heart surgeries before he was four months old and suffered a cardiac arrest at nine months old which, unfortunately, left him with severe brain damage.
Against-all-odds, Junaid has fought through his condition and has become a Burton Albion season ticket holder, along with his 13-year-old sister, Yasmine.
Junaid, now seven-years-old, has managed to get to every home game this season and almost every away game, where his disability has allowed.
There were a large number of nominations for Fan of the Year which were looked at by a panel including Burton Albion Commercial Director Fleur Robinson and Burton Albion Community Trust Head of Community Matt Hancock, who decided Junaid’s story was a worthy winner.
Junaid’s mother Hayley Bate said: “Burton Albion have really made my son so happy, and to see his face light up at every game and cheer the boys is so special to me.”
The George Rider Memorial Trophy is an annual award for a supporter who has shown dedication and commitment beyond the norm in following the Brewers over the course of the season.
George Rider was the treasurer of the old Burton Albion Supporters’ Club. He invested £1,600 in Burton Albion in 1958 ensuring that £56 per year would be given to the club in perpetuity to help the advance of senior football.
After Government rules brought the investment to an end, Margaret, who was also a member of the supporters’ club, decided to donate the £1,600 to BACT to help pay for a new artificial pitch at the Pirelli Stadium.
George’s granddaughter, Margaret Morton, has donated the trophy and presented it to Junaid at half-time in the game on Saturday.
Last year two sisters were jointly named the club’s Fans of the Year.
Kay Bailey and Tracy Dunsdon shared the 2017 award after being selected from more than 30 nominations by a panel that included Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough.
Pictured: Junaid is presented the award by Margaret Morton, with his mother and sister. Watched by Lisa Beard from the Burton Albion Community Trust and last year’s winners Kay Bailey and Tracy Dunsdon.