A PENKETH mum who has dedicated years to grassroots football alongside her full-time job has been named the the 2018 McDonald’s UK Football Mum of the Year.

Helen Atkinson has been involved with Crosfields Football Club for more than six years in her three roles.

She serves as a child welfare officer, under 8s manager and Crosfields Ladies manager alongside being a single parent of two and holding down her day job at the Home Office.

The 39-year-old was handed the award by Coleen Rooney on Sunday ahead of the Community Shield match between reigning Premier League champions Manchester City and current FA Cup holders Chelsea.

The award, now in its fourth year, recognises mums who are role models for children, have dedicated several years to grassroots football and has made a real impact in their community.

A panel of judges, including Coleen Rooney, current Manchester United women’s head coach Casey Stoney and Tracey Crouch MP, minister for sport and civil society, chose Helen as this year’s winner from hundreds of entries across the UK.

Helen is an active player in the ladies team and gives up her limited time to arrange off-field meetings and matches for both teams in her role as an active committee member.

Her drive and passion for the club and the game is an inspiration to everyone involved.

Helen said: “All I can say is wow! Being named the 2018 McDonald’s UK Football Mum of the Year is such an honour. I don’t think it’s sunk in that I’ve won. It was one thing finding out I had won, but to receive my award from Coleen Rooney at Wembley was unbelievable.

"Having been involved with grassroots football for many years, I’ve met some great kids and other volunteers that have kept me motivated – I love what I do and to be able to provide kids with a safe environment to play football is a great feeling.

"I would love to dedicate to this award to everyone involved at Crosfields JFC, my family and my two sons as without their support I would not be involved and playing football and finally to all the great football mums in the UK who do so much.”

McDonald’s ambassador Casey Stoney, one of the members of the judging panel who helped choose this year’s winner said: “Mums like Helen are the epitome of what grassroots football is about."

Coleen Rooney added: “When I read Helen’s nomination I was truly inspired by her dedication to grassroots football. As a mother of four young boys, I’ve seen first-hand what mothers do to get their kids to training, so it was a pleasure to meet Helen and hand her the award."