Archie Gray among Harrogate winners at Yorkshire achievers awards
Last updated Nov 17, 2023
Eddie Gray (left) and Gary McAllister accept the award on behalf of Archie Gray.

Rising football star Archie Gray and referee-turned-charity walker Mike Riley were the Harrogate winners at the 29th Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards last night.

The awards, organised by the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation, recognised the achievements of young people in seven categories from arts to sport.

Leeds United midfielder Archie Gray, 17, who completed his GCSEs at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Harrogate last year, won the achievement in sport award.

He joined the club at under-9 level and progressed rapidly through the academy, with an agreement being reached with the school to allow him to miss classes to train with the first team.

He was first named on the bench in 2021 and made his debut on August 6 this year against Cardiff City.

Archie was unable to attend the awards, having been called up for the England Elite League squad that faced Italy on the evening of the awards, so his great uncle Eddie Gray and another ex-Leeds player, Gary McAllister, accepted it on his behalf.

Former Leeds player Andy Hughes accepts the award on behalf of Mike Riley, who was on UEFA duty.

Harrogate’s other winner was Mike Riley, who received a special award for his contribution towards helping young people.

Mike walked 206 miles from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire, via England’s highest peak of Scafell over 14 days to raise £4,000 for the foundation.

A long-term supporter of the awards, he is until the end of the season, head of Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the body responsible for match officials in England.

He has led the organisation for 13 years, overseeing the development of match officials in the Premier League, FA, EFL and National League competitions and more recently the Women’s Super League.

Peter McCormick, the chairman of the awards who also runs Harrogate law firm McCormicks Solicitors, which sponsored the event at Elland Road stadium, said:

“Every year we are astonished, inspired and, frequently, moved to tears by the amazing stories of our winners whose achievements underline the depth and breadth of the quality of the young people in our region.

The annual event has now raised more than £1.3m to support young people in Yorkshire.

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