We are incredibly lucky to have been supported by so many who want to make Archie’s legacy a success. Here are our awards & scholarships so far:


Final Candidates for teamArchie China Scholarship

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we have made our first awards. After a day of interviewing the final six contenders at Wembley Stadium, we were overwhelmed and completely blown away by the maturity, dedication, talent and caring nature of all our candidates. After much deliberation we offered the summer long trip to Beijing to Keon Richardson from Tottenham. Further information about Keon and his trip will be available in due course.

However, Keon was not the only success of the day. We have agreed to support the other five by putting them through their UEFA B coaching courses. We all felt that the standard was so high and that everyone, having journeyed to London from the furthest reaches of the NORTH and putting on incredible presentations and pulling it off under the watchful eyes of James and Claire Lloyd, Helen Vost and Jamie Piggins of Youth Sport Trust and Lee Warren, Football Development BUCS and the FA, fully deserved to be awarded this opportunity.

I cannot put into words how dedicated these young people are and how much football and its development means to them. There are of course many reasons why they have moved towards concentrating on coaching but the fact that they give so much time freely is a credit to them and reassures us that there is so much good out there just waiting to be nurtured.

Keon Richardson


Keon is a final year Sport and Social Sciences student at the University of Bath who has a profound passion for football. He lives in Tottenham, North London. In addition to his academic studies, he is the captain of the University of Bath Futsal* first team and he represents Bristol City Futsal Club in the FA National Super League. Keon also edits the IBSA Blind Football Facebook page, he isor has recently been a Premier League Communities Volunteer, Tottenham Hotspur Elite Disability Football Assistant Coach, QPR in the Community Trust Youth and Communities Intern and the London FA Youth Council Disability Inclusions Officer. When he had a spare moment he has completed his Level 2 Award in Coaching Football and Futsal, FA Youth Modules 1 & 2, FA Coaching Blind, Deaf and Disabled Footballers and WFA Coaching Powerchair Footballers. Keon’s outstanding commitment has been recognised by lots of awards including the FA Young Volunteer of the Year.

Keon’s referee Emily Hill from the London FA writes, “Keon has been an exceptional young leader and really impressed not only myself and fellow staff at the London FA but also external partners that he has worked with. I have received several commendations from people in regards to Keon’s work ethic and enthusiasm.

Keon has volunteered at several London FA events throughout this season including our goals for girls’ festivals, Player Development Centre fixtures, FA Girls Festival in Hackney as well as run and delivered some of our Recreational Football sessions.

As well as his work locally Keon was selected to be part of the team to help run and organise the FA England vs Sweden Futsal friendlies, The FA Futsal Finals and the FA National Youth Futsal Festival. Keon is a Team leader for the London Youth Games, has worked with Tackle Africa and The Youth Sport Trust and has also volunteered at the IBSA Blind Football European Championships.

Despite being at University in Bath, Keon is still linked with the work that the London FA does and he was invited to deliver a talk for London Students at a student coaching event organised by the London FA and the SGB for student sport, BUCS. Keon spoke about his experiences and journey so far in leadership and coaching and was a real inspiration to the staff and students in attendance.”

We think this speaks for itself. Keon’s communications skills and genuine passion came over to the panel brilliantly and his desire to be the best that he can be is evident. We are all in awe of young men and women who put others needs before their own and we congratulate Keon on being awarded our first teamArchie scholarship.

*Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided football game that is widely played across the world and is officially recognised by both UEFA and FIFA.

Roya Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy


Roya is from Derbyshire and is 17 years old. She is incredibly a World Youth Games Taekwondo medalist and only got involved in football two years ago. She has extensive qualifications to coach both able and disabled footballers and a wealth of experience to match anyone her age despite her short time in football. She is highly motivated, intelligent and has incredibly created and is rolling out her own brand of coaching for young girls called “Miss Kicks”.

In her own words, “I am determined to positively impact every young person I meet and by the vision of getting every young person involved in sport. As a female, I have had first hand experience in facing barriers to participation, so became passionate about finding solutions…As coaches we have the potential to change people’s lives and my passion for it continues to grow.”

We were so impressed with Roya that we are going to sponsor her initiative to deliver football to little girls all over the country: teamArchie in association with Miss Kicks! We will be keeping Roya closely connected as she is a star of the future. We congratulate her on her amazing presentation

Joshua Waddingham


“I started playing football age 8 attending FA Skills sessions. I wanted to pay back the coaches for what they had taught me so started volunteering age 13 on the Football Futures programme and volunteered with FA Skills doing over 700 hours.” In 2014 Josh, who is from York and is in his last year at school was awarded the National Football Futures Award (Young Leader) for Outstanding Contribution to Grassroots Football.

Josh’s reference told of his work with York City Talent Club U12’s helping potential future England Women develop through this pathway and that he has a positive effect on everyone he meets. Josh walked into his interview and within minutes had us all tossing balloons around the room. He was original, polite and would be the most inspirational coach. We are proud to be able to help him continue his coaching qualifications by supporting him through his UEFA B Coaching Badge. We are proud to be associated with Josh. He is a fantastic role model.

Qasim Akhtar


Growing up in Bradford there were few opportunities in his neighbourhood to play football so Qasim set up a team. He was 14 years old and won a Youth Opportunities Funding grant of £3,500! He is currently manager and coach of the Bradford City u10 girls team and is delivering PE sessions in local primary schools through his work with the Academy …. and he is 19 years old.

His referee, professional footballer Filipe Morais who says, “..what a hardworking, dedicated and passionate young coach he is. He has devoted so much of his spare time to assisting me with setting up the academy.”

Qasim is clearly devoted to football and has aspirations that we would love to help him realise. We will be supporting him through the next stage of his coaching qualifications and hope that we can keep him close and look forward to him being the first Asian football manager in English football.

Molly Johnson


Molly was our most accomplished footballer. She has played for Sheffield United, Donacaster Belles in the FA Women’s Super League and England Ladies U15’s. She now plays for Derby County whilst at Sheffield Hallam University where she is studying Sports Development and Coaching. She has volunteered as a coach for 3 years at Sheffield Wednesday under 12’s and she volunteered for the FA at the Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships last year. She is also involved in a project to provide football opportunities for vulnerable children in deprived areas run by South Yorkshire Police.

Molly has her FA Referee Certificate and is now looking to do her UEFA B Coaching Badge to add to the endless list of coaching qualifications that she already holds. We are delighted to be able to help Molly fulfil her ambition to continue to progress towards a career in football coaching. She was both engaging and charming and we are thrilled to have an England footballer on side!

Natasha Buckland


Natasha joined the Berks Bucks FA Youth Council in order to progress her volunteering and development within football and she has gone on to hold two senior roles within the Birmingham FA Younth Council. (She is at university here). She was selected to attend the FA Football Futures National Camp and was also presented with the Outstanding Young Leader of the Year 2016 Award. She currently volunteers with the University of Birmingham Women’s Football Club and coaches for Aston Villa both in secondary schools and at their disability sessions. She has been part of the Reading FC Referee Academy and was awarded the referee of the year award for Berks Bucks.

Basically Natasha is amazing! Her referee wrote, “Natasha is always a consistent figure and dedicated member for the club and this is due to the commitment, dedication and effort she puts into every aspect of club life and in the wider community, where she never settles for second best. She demonstrates true leadership qualities …she is a talented coach, an exceptional role model and an even better person…”

We are delighted to be able to help Natasha through further coaching qualifications and hope that she too will fulfil her ambitions to coach at the highest level to inspire and motivate young people.