Burnley-born fundraising super-fan Scott Cunliffe, who ran to all of the Clarets' away games last season, has been honoured by Uefa with a special award.
Scott, 45, who raised more than £55,000 through his marathon efforts as part of his RunAway Challenge, was the recipient of an #EqualGame award at Uefa's annual prize event in Monaco yesterday. Having braved all weathers throughout the 3,000-mile challenge, Burnley FC manager Sean Dyche invited Scott into the dressing room to meet the players on the last game of the season against Everton in May.
“I am honoured that Uefa has chosen me as a recipient of the #EqualGame Award,” said Scott, who is donating half the proceeds to local Burnley charities and the other half to Premier League community trusts. “I believe that sport is a great leveller. Everyone should be able to enjoy the sport they love, either as a fan or as a player.
"I hope my running inspires others to move their legs, hearts and minds, no matter who they are," he added, having himself taken up running to cope with mental health issues after witnessing a number of atrocities whilst working in human rights during intense conflict in Indonesia which left him with PTSD.
Scott was honoured with the award - presented for "work as role models highlighting diversity, inclusion and accessibility in football," according to Uefa - alongside German club Borussia Dortmund, who were themselves honoured for their tireless long-term work in tackling far-right infiltration of their fan base, challenging everyday racism, and adopting a clear policy on the humanitarian rights of refugees and asylum-seekers.
“Scott’s story is an inspiration to many," said Uefa President Aleksander Čeferin. "Through his commitment and hard work, he has raised money to help communities right across his country. The example Scott has set also provides a clear demonstration of just how physical activity like running or playing football can significantly benefit a person’s health.”