Invicta and Hamlet on Sunday alert!

By David Watters

Fans of Dulwich Hamlet and Folkestone Invicta have an extra reason not to miss The Non-League Paper this Sunday after both Ryman League clubs were honoured at the 2016 National Game Awards.

Hamlet picked up the Football Foundation's Community Club Of The Year accolade while Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley left this season's prestigious event at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge with the paper's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Broadcaster, author and after-dinner speaker Bob 'The Cat' Bevan MBE, a guest at next month's Ryman League's Presentation Ball at the Wembley Hilton, is pictured handing over the award to Invicta's modest manager.

Cugley will tell the paper's readers on Sunday that both and he and his wife Pauline knew something was afoot but thought the club itself was in line for an honour.

He said: “I’d been asked if I could attend before I went away to Magaluf with the players and when I got back the formal invitation was waiting for me. I knew that the club had been nominated but when Pauline and I got there it turned out that I’d got the Non-League Paper’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“With my 1,000th game at the club this season I suppose it was inevitable that I’d get so much attention personally but I have to say some of it has been a bit embarrassing and others deserve more of a share of the credit.

“But it was a really nice day for both Pauline and me and I’m delighted to have received such an honour. Non-League football has been a major part of my life and, give or take a few of the down times, I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”

Hamlet's community development officer Mishi Morath was at Wednesday's awards in London to collect his club's accolade, pictured.

Ahead of appearing in Sunday's special NGA edition, a delighted club spokesman said: "Dulwich Hamlet were honoured to receive the award which recognises the contribution made by the club and all its volunteers to ensure that the club connects with all parts of its local community.

"We would like to thank every one of our amazing fans for their role in promoting the club and ensuring that we support those social causes close to the heart of our community."

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