Brighton & Hove Albion defender Laura Rafferty and former club captain Bruno have both received awards from the PFA in recognition of their support of Albion in the Community (AITC) during the 2018/19 season.
Each season professional football clubs are asked to nominate a player from within both their senior men’s and women’s squads who most-epitomise the support shown by players to their local community.
Recently-retired Bruno and Northern Ireland international Rafferty were nominated by staff at AITC, and were recently presented with for their PFA Community Champion awards by the charity’s chief executive Matt Dorn.
It is the second season in a row in which Rafferty, who is one of the charity’s official ambassadors, has been named PFA Community Champion for the club’s FA Women’s Super League squad, while Bruno, who announced his retirement from professional football before the recent home game with Manchester City, has been a regular at the charity’s sessions since his arrival at the club in 2012.
In recent seasons he has also donated part of his wages to charity via the Common Goal initiative – generosity which has directly funded a number of AITC workshops and projects.
Matt Dorn was full of praise for both players. He said: “As the club’s official charity we are incredibly fortunate to benefit from the support of not only players from both senior squads, but also staff across the football club.
“Laura and Bruno are great examples of the passion and commitment for community work which we see from players in both the Premier League squad and the FA WSL squad.
“Laura is a regular at our sessions and has shown a real commitment to our work. She is a superb role model, popular with Albion fans, and always has time for supporters. She is also a great example to the young people who attend our sessions.
“We nominated Bruno for this award before we knew he was retiring, but I am delighted that as a charity we have been able to thank him for his support in this way – not just for his work this season, but for everything he has done for AITC since he joined the club.
“He has been an amazing role model and someone who has shown a genuine desire to have a positive impact on the local community here in Sussex.
“He has been a passionate champion of community work, and a great example to the thousands of people we work with.
“On behalf of everyone at AITC I would like to thank both Bruno and Laura – and indeed, all the other players who have given up their time to support our work this season.
“Without that support, AITC simply would not be the success it is.”