The fourth MBNA North West Football Awards took place recently at Old Trafford Cricket Ground’s multi-million pound conference and events venue, The Point.
The awards, conceived and created by North West media e-news website, How-do and backed by the likes of FIFA, The PFA and The Football Foundation, celebrate the commercial, marketing and professional services talent in the region off the pitch - in addition to the recognised talent on the pitch.
Highlights included a much-honoured speech from PFA Chief Executive, Gordon Taylor OBE who was presented with the lifetime achievement award and Goal of the Year awarded to Wayne Rooney.
The evening, now a must in the sporting calendar, was expertly compered by Sky Sports presenter Ed Chamberlain and attracted over 450 guests from football and football related services.
It was a tremendous night of entertainment and was also beneficial to Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s North West Appeal, with £8,000 being raised through a lively charity auction masterminded by Match of the Day 2 and Five Live presenter Colin Murray.
Commenting on the night, The Swift Event’s director Katherine Swift says: “This is our fourth year of managing the awards and it was another successful evening and firmly established as a key date in the regions’ sporting and commercial calendar.”
Katherine adds: “We were so impressed last year with the efficient way The Point’s staff handled the event that we had no hesitation in returning this year. The venue provided the perfect backdrop for this unique sporting occasion and looked amazing”.
The Point, a purpose-built facility able to accommodate conferences, wedding’s or formal dinners for up to 1,000 people, is already proving a popular venue with bookings being taken up to 2015.
It is over 12 months since the Hallé performed at the official opening night of The Point, the Old Trafford Cricket Ground’s multi-million pound conference and events venue, but they recently returned to hit the high notes yet again at a Ruby Ball to mark the 40th anniversary of St Ann’s Hospice.
St Ann’s and the Hallé jointly hosted the black-tie event, which was supported by HSBC, and proceeds from the evening were split between both charities.
The evening was compered by Eamonn O’Neal, a patron of St Ann’s who said: “I had both an auntie and an uncle who were treated at the Hospice so I know from experience what a wonderful place it is.
Eamonn added: “It was a delight to be involved in such a prestigious event at a marvellous new venue and thanks to the generosity of the people who attended we were able to raise such a significant amount for charity.”
It was a very poignant evening for cricket fan Richard Bourn whose late mother received hospice care in her home city of Lincoln earlier this year. Richard is a long-standing member of the Hallé and a very passionate Lancashire cricket fan.
Richard said: “Hospices are amazing places and watching the staff at work where my mother stayed for two weeks was a very humbling experience. I’m glad that I helped raise funds for my local hospice, St Ann’s, by performing with the Hallé at the Ruby Ball.”
More than 350 guests were treated to a sumptuous three-course meal and sparkling drinks reception with the evening culminating in a performance of pop and rock classics by musicians and singers from Hallé Rock.
The black-tie dinner celebrated the 40th anniversary of St Ann’s Hospice which provides free care to more than 3,000 adults with life-limiting illnesses each year in Greater Manchester and needs £16,000 a day in donations to provide its wide range of services.