YOUNGSTER Ben Fox’s dedication to bringing a smile to people’s faces and making a difference to the local community has been recognised by the Professional Footballers’ Association.

Fox has been awarded with the PFA Community Player of the Year award for 2018/19 due to his commitment to bring the club and community together through his work with Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT).

The Brewers fans favourite was presented with the award by BACT Chairman John Jackson, prior to Good Friday’s home fixture against Portsmouth. He has now been involved in community work with BACT since he signed his first professional contract in 2016 and has always been a bright spark regardless of the situation. His enthusiasm both on and off the pitch hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Matt Hancock, Head of Community, said: “Ben’s been a joy to work with once again this season and was a standout candidate to win the award.

“He’s gone above and beyond this season and he has a real affinity with the fans, who are all aware of how committed he’s been to the work that we do.

Sam Wheeler, whose three children are participants at BACT programmes, said: “My family first met Ben at my eldest son’s disability session, Able Too Albion. I was pleasantly surprised at how a young player seemed so at ease at interacting with all of the children and how he approached the sessions with so much enthusiasm.

“We then met him again at a Junior Brewers party where he recognised us and spent some time chatting to Connor, who always struggles to get involved at these events. He also spent some time chatting to me about Connor’s difficulties and wellbeing.

“Given that there were a lot of people there wanting to chat with the players, it meant a lot to both me and Connor that he has taken the time to ensure Connor always felt involved and happy. He also made a point of finding Connor to say goodbye when he was leaving, which made Connor feel very special (although he would never admit this).

“Ben is now a family favourite and I am delighted to hear that he has been justifiably nominated to win a community award.”

Following receiving the award, Fox said: “I love helping out and giving back to the local community. Playing for my local club obviously means a lot to me and being able to give something back to the area that I spent a lot of time growing up in is amazing. The work that the club does in the community is fantastic and I’m proud to be a part of it!”