SPORTING CHANCE founder Tony Adams was presented with the prestigious Global Football Ambassador 2018 award at the Football Business Awards in London.
The award was to mark Tony's work in both establishing and developing Sporting Chance over the last 18 years and was presented to him by our Chief Executive Colin Bland at a dinner at the Honourable Artillery Company in the City of London.
Tony immediately dedicated the award to the all the staff at Sporting Chance and their role in expanding the charity since its formation in 2000 beyond addiction issues into the field of mental health.
"It's a great privilege to receive this award and to be recognised by my peers in the football business community," he said.
"For the 12 years that I was facing alcohol addiction, it was not something professional sportspeople admitted to, let alone spoke about openly, and support was extremely hard to come by. It was almost an accepted part of the football lifestyle.
"We've come an incredibly long way in acknowledging the problem and filling that gap to provide support for those going through it so these athletes are able to reclaim their sporting careers and continue to do what they love, free of addiction.
"The work that Sporting Chance do would not be possible without our stakeholders. A big thank you to them all, particularly the PFA who have been with me since the start."
Co-Founder of The Football Business Awards, Simon Burton said, "Tony's courage to shed light on an important issue in professional football and his tireless work to help those experiencing it for themselves is a true credit to who he is as a person, as well as being one of our greatest footballers.
"We know that mental health within professional sport is an important issue and it's heartening to see more and more athletes feeling as though they can speak honestly about their own battles. It's due in no small part to champions of the cause like Tony who have paved the way, setting positive examples and providing solutions.
"Tony has helped thousands of professional sportspeople, dealing with addiction, alongside the modern day pressures of playing sport at an elite level and we're honoured to be in a position to recognise his contribution at the Football Business Awards."
Previous recipients of the Global Football Ambassador accolade are John Motson OBE (2017), Sir Bobby Charlton (2014), Sir Trevor Brooking (2015) and Jimmy Armfield CBE (2016).