Former Premier League Works and Youth Employment Initiative participant James Peter has been awarded with the David Bingham Trophy for 2017.
The trophy – remembering the late David Bingham, a lifelong Boro fan who played an important role in the club’s survival in 1986 – has been presented each year for more than two decades. The criteria for nomination has changed over the years, with past winners including Boro legend John Hendrie.
The award is now presented to a deserving participant from a Foundation programme who has shown excellent attitude, willing to work, and going above and beyond what is required of them.
Originally from Nigeria, James’ story is an incredibly touching one, having experienced a number of set-backs and personal traumas in his early life.
After eventually moving to Teesside both alone and struggling with bouts of depression, James found MFC Foundation, where he joined our YEI programme in a bid to develop his coaching skills, and earn some valuable employment-based qualifications.
James was part of the team that undertook a charity cycle with former Boro stars Marten de Roon and Viktor Fischer in the Cleveland Centre back in April, to raise money to buy a football kit for our Adult Disability team.
From there, James joined our Premier League Works programme, and played a key part in the fund raising of hundreds of pounds for the Children’s Ward of the RVI Hospital in Newcastle this Christmas, after a partnership with Newcastle United Foundation’s PL Works cohort.
The highlight of James’ academic year undoubtedly came back in November, when he was awarded with the HSBC Breakthrough award by the Princes Trust at their regional awards dinner held in Newcastle.
“I am personally inspired by James’ journey and his enthusiasm and passion for life,” said PL Works and YEI coordinator Patrick Robinson.
“I truly believe he will inspire and touch many people’s lives in a positive way in years to come; and we at MFC Foundation will always be there to support him in his journey, something he has earned through his humility and hard work.”
James was presented with the award prior to Middlesbrough’s SkyBet Championship 2-0 victory against Ipswich Town in December.