Rochdale AFC Community Trust are delighted to announce that former goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell is our 2022/23 PFA Community Champion.
O'Donnell earned this recognition for his outstanding work as an Ambassador for 'Her Game Too' and his dedication to supporting the community Boot Bank initiative. His efforts have ensured that individuals with limited financial resources can still partake in the beautiful game they love.
As an Ambassador for 'Her Game Too,' O'Donnell has been instrumental in promoting gender equality and inclusivity in football, tackling sexism and championing women in sport.
Equally commendable is O'Donnell's support for the community Boot Bank initiative. Recognizing the financial challenges many local families face, especially in light of the economic difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, he played a role in launching a program that provides football boots and gear to those in need. This initiative has ensured that no aspiring young athlete is left on the sidelines due to financial constraints.
O'Donnell's efforts have been a source of inspiration for the Rochdale community, fostering a sense of unity and pride. His dedication to helping others has not only enhanced the clubs reputation but has also reaffirmed the clubs commitment to being a pillar of support for the local community.
Community Director, Ryan Bradley, commented: "We didn’t have an end-of-year awards ceremony last year, so we were unable to mark Rich’s contribution to the clubs community work, but when he was recently in the area, we arranged a meetup and ensured he finally got his hands on his award!
"All of the players from last year's squad can be commended for their contribution, but we can only pick one as our PFA Community Champion, and Richard was the popular choice amongst our staff and participants."
Richard O'Donnell's journey from the goalposts to Community Champion serves as a reminder that football can be a powerful force for good.