Cardiff City FC very proudly nominated Academy Day Release Coach and Tutor, John Tobutt for Club Hero of the Year at the 2015 Football League Awards, held at The Brewery in London on Sunday evening. The 10th annual awards ceremony celebrated excellence both on and off the pitch across The League’s 72 Clubs, with Cardiff City’s longest serving player, Peter Whittingham also being named amongst the Championship Team of the Decade.
CEO of Cardiff City FC Foundation, Marc Cahill said: ‘It is fantastic for us as a Foundation to have someone like John on our board of trustees for a whole host of reasons. Not only he is a very well thought of and respected member of the community but he also understands what it is we are trying to achieve, not only as a Foundation, but also as a football club. In his role as trustee of the Foundation John is perfectly suited. He has such a strong ethos and history of providing opportunities for young people in some of the most deprived areas of the City.”
“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is John’s passion to make a difference. His drive and determination stems from being a fan first and foremost. He has seen the club go through all of it ups and downs over the past 50 years but if you ask him he will say “the one constant at this club is the difference it makes. The positive impact it has had on so many young lives makes everything else worth it.”
John has been involved with Cardiff City FC since 1988, when he would sweep the Bob Bank at Ninian Park at a very young age. Since then, he has played a fundamental role in coaching at the Centre of Excellence and Academy levels of the Club, as well as naturally adopting the role of mentor to other coaches.
In conjunction with his commitment to Cardiff City, John worked as a classroom teacher and headteacher in primary schools around Cardiff for over 30 years, in a career that has rightfully earned him the respect and admiration of both his peers and pupils.
John’s dedication to both the Club and Foundation furthered in 2009 when he became a member of the Board of Trustees and has since been instrumental in setting up the current Academy Day Release Programme in the 2012/2013 season.
Michael Hayward, International Relations Manager at Cardiff City FC Foudation added: “John was my fist ever CCFC coach when I was U10, some 20 years ago and played a huge part in developing me as a player. He has provided me with constant support and advice relating to Community & Academy football and his enthusiasm and passion for developing young people in sport and education is truly inspiring.”
“John’s rapport with Foundation phase players in the classroom and on the pitch is first class and you can see our young players growing under his stewardship.”
Crystal Palace and Wales Midfielder, Joe Ledley also spoke of his relationship with John; “John helped kick start my career by working closely with myself from the age of 9 and building my confidence and ability. He made me enjoy football and gave me the tools needed to start playing professionally for which I am eternally grateful to him. There is no doubt in my mind that he has played an important role in making me the footballer I am today”.
Both Cardiff City FC and The Foundation would like to thank John for his dedication and devotion to both establishments – long may it continue!
You can take a look at John’s story here.