The Lincolnshire Echo’s extensive coverage of girls’ and women’s football over the past seven years has been rewarded by the FA.
It picked up the Regional Media Award at the FA Women’s Football Awards, held in London in front of an audience which included Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s director of Football Development, England women’s national coach Hope Powell, FA chief executive Brian Barwick and FA chairman Geoff Thompson.
Echo women’s football writer Melanie Burton and Lincoln City Ladies’ press officer Geoff Adams were at the event to receive the award.
Melanie, who is deputy editor of the Echo’s sister paper, the Retford Times, covers women’s football as a hobby.
She said: “It is a fantastic honour to have been selected for the award.
“It makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Melanie and Geoff were accompanied at the awards by Lincoln City FC chairman Rob Bradley, Lincoln City Ladies chairman Rick Futter and secretary Julie Futter as well as manager Rod Wilson who nominated the Echo for the award.
Rod said: “The Echo has been supporting us for a few seasons and I have not seen any other paper in the country give equal column inches week in, week out to a women’s football team.
“It gives us unprecedented coverage of the women’s game and the award is much deserved.”
Melanie covers Lincoln City Ladies home games in the WPL Northern Division while Geoff covers the away games.
She also writes the girls’ football column in the Echo’s Mid Lincs Youth League supplement and used to produce a women and girls’ round-up column for the Sports Echo.
Her love of football is inherited from her father, the late Maurice Burton, who was the Echo’s sports editor for many years.
A season ticket holder at Lincoln City, she began covering girls’ and women’s football when her daughter, Karla, joined the newly formed girls’ football team at her primary school.