Spartans celebrate 2014 season

The Essex Spartans American Football club celebrated their most successful season to date with their annual Presentation Evening last weekend.

Hosted by new social secretary for the club Corinna Bourke in Maya’s World Buffet, Southend-on-Sea, more than 150 tickets were sold to senior and academy players and their families and friends.

The event came just two days after the death of the Spartans’ founder and general manager of 25 years, Tony Palmer, who was honoured on the night by Head Coach Seán Benton and current Chairman Ray Towey.

Awards were a combination of player-voted and coaching staff-voted accolades including Most Valuable Player in Offensive and Defensive outfits, and The Tony Palmer Spartan of the Year Award for outstanding service and commitment to the club.

Head Coach Benton said: “It was a great night for the club, albeit a bittersweet one with the sad news of club founder Tony Palmer’s passing this week. We were able to celebrate a very successful year for our organisation and reward our outstanding contributors, while at the same time recognising and respecting the outstanding contribution made by Tony Palmer over 25 years. I hope we honoured him appropriately.”

Raffle prizes were also donated and received with thanks from the Essex Spartans sponsors, Top-It UK, GoHam Clothing, Bearskin Apparel, Walton Hall Farm, Wire-Witch and Ed’s Diner, and representatives in attendance from other sponsors Dons Coaches, Walton Hall Farm and HotShots.

Full List of Award Winners


Junior Offensive MVP: Max Lucy

Junior Defensive MVP: Henry Quick

Youth Offensive MVP: Anthony Hawkes

Youth Defensive MVP: Owen Attard


Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jack Williams

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jackson Tiller

Offensive Lineman of the Year: Dave McPherson

Defensive Lineman of the Year: Joe Venables

Most Improved Player of the Year: Rob Downes

The Tony Palmer Spartan of the Year: Dean Payne and Family

Offensive MVP: Zac Davies

Defensive MVP: Harry Shelton

Special Teams MVP: Ernest Owusu

Overall MVP: Aaron Miller