One of Sutton Coldfield`s unsung heroes,  Des Christie, is supporting Sutton Coldfield Scouts from East District at Villa Park on Father`s Day this year for their football tournament.  Des Christie, General Manager of the iconic  Empire Cinema in Sutton Coldfield, was awarded the prestigious Local Business Award at Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council`s first-ever Community Awards at Moxhull Hall on 11th May.  The awards celebrated those who work hard for the community but often do not get the recognition they deserve.

Sutton Coldfield residents nominated unsung heroes after an appeal in the local paper.  The Empire was praised for regularly showcasing screenings for the elderly, people with autism and for parents and babies.  Now Des is continuing that fantastic work by being referee at the Scout`s football tournament at Villa Park on Father`s Day.

“I am spending Father`s Day at Villa Park with my daughter”, said Des, “and she can watch me referee Sutton Coldfield Scouts at Aston Villa.  What a great experience for both of us!”

Des is proud to point out that in a former life he was set to become a professional footballer before the lure of Empire Cinemas took over.  “I am now a professional referee”, said Des, “and last time I referred for Sutton Coldfield Scouts it was at Wyndley Leisure Centre last year in Sutton Coldfield.  How fantastic that they are now playing at Aston Villa”!

On Sunday 18th June Aston Villa Foundation at Villa Park will open it`s doors to the Scouts and allow them to use their Academy for the football tournament.  The Foundation is Villa`s registered charity that delivers projects and activities around Birmingham across 4 key themes: sport and recreation, health and well-being, education and development and inclusion and community cohesion.

“Our mission”, said  Guy Rippon, Head of the Aston Villa Foundation, “is to use Aston Villa Football Club as a vehicle to positively impact on local people, neighbourhoods and communities.  This includes strengthening our role and relationships in the local community.  Essentially it makes the club more accessible on a day-to-day basis in a number of different ways”.

Adam Hodson, Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts in Sutton Coldfield East, is a long-time Villa fan.  He is very pleased that Aston Villa are supporting the Scout`s football tournament.

“Every year the Scout Association helps over 500,000 young people in the UK enjoy new adventure”, he said, “experience the outdoors, interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.  We change lives by offering 6 – 25 year olds fun and challenging activities, unique experiences, everyday adventure and the chance to help others so that we make a positive impact on communities”.