Sports Personality: Damien Lindsay wins BBC Unsung Hero

Sports Personality: Belfast man Damien Lindsay wins BBC Unsung Hero award

West Belfast youth football coach Damien Lindsay is the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award winner for 2015.

Lindsay, 44, has played a huge role in his community through work with the St James Swifts Football Club.

Damien founded the club five years ago with the aim of helping to keep young people off the streets in a deprived part of his native city.

The Belfast man received the award in his native city on Sunday at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Lindsay has spearheaded his club's fundraising efforts as well as well as undertaking coaching and his current chairman's role.

"There are people in our team who would have been in jail were it not for Damien," said club member Joseph McCall.

"At one of our first ever training sessions, people came on to the pitch and shot at us and at that stage, we were wondering who was going to want to work with us.

"But Damien just kept at it and we've come a long way."

Lindsay's desire to help his community also saw him play an instrumental role in setting up an urban farm which grows free produce for local people, with the club's players chipping in to sponsor the facility's animals.

"In this day and age, there is not much money about for pensioners and single parents but they are coming down to grow their own vegetables on the farm," added another St James Swifts official Dan Kilfin.

"If Damien didn't live in this area, we would be back in the 1970s. He's a walking legend. Everybody in St James knows Damien."

The west Belfast man picked up the honour on Sunday after winning the Northern Ireland award last month.

Previous Unsung Hero award winners
2014: Jill Stidever (Swimming coach)2013: Joe and Maggie Forber (Basketball coach and administrator)
2012: Sue and Jim Houghton (Community sports club)2011: Janice Eaglesham and Ian Mirfin (Athletics coaches)
2010: Lance Haggith (Basketball coach)2009: Doreen Adcock (Swimming instructor)
Sports Personality of the Year: Eddie Izzard calls an Unsung Hero

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