Preston Sports Awards guest is ex-Manchester United and Blackburn man

Derek Langley with Cristiano Ronaldo
Derek Langley with Cristiano Ronaldo

Derek Langley, former Head of Academy Recruitment Manchester United, is to be the guest of honour at this year’s GLL Preston Sports Awards.

The annual awards ceremony, which recognises dedication and commitment to sport in all its guises, will take place on Friday, March 22, at Preston Guild Hall.

Langley has had the privilege to work under some outstanding managers in his time in football, spanning over 50 years as a schoolboy player, development coach, local recruitment officer and then head of academy recruitment at one of the biggest football clubs in the world Manchester United.

Langley has been involved in identifying and nurturing players of varying levels who have become household names.

Some of the players he has taken to both Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United include Damien Duff, David Dunn, James Beattie and Marlon Broomes.

Langley has also been involved with Cristiano Ronaldo (with whom he is pictured, right), Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba at United.

Langley has seen numerous successes with both clubs, Blackburn Rovers winning the Premier League title in the 1994/95 season and Manchester United amassing some 58 trophies at first team, Under-23s and Under-18s level during his time there.

Langley said: “It will be an honour and privilege to follow in the footsteps of previous distinguished guests who have addressed such a worthy and prestigious Preston Sports Awards ceremony.

“The history of the awards night highlights the recognition to all recipients in every level and category of sport and with justification for their hard work and dedication.”

Jimmy Khan, GLL’s Preston partnership manager, said: “Derek is a fantastic choice for Preston’s 2019 award.

“I am sure that Derek has some fantastic anecdotes of his time at Manchester United bringing through players such as Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley who both went on to play for England. The event promises to be a huge success and has become a major highlight in Preston’s calendar of sporting events’.

At the 2019 Preston Guild Hall Sports Awards, there will be 17 awards up for grabs.

Nominations are being accepted until 8pm Monday, February 18.

The categories are as follows:

Coach of the Year Sponsored by BMW Bowker

Sports Club of the Year Sponsored by Surridge Sport

Volunteer of the Year* (aged 14-24 years) Sponsored by Frank Whittle Partnership

Volunteer of the Year (aged 25 years plus) Sponsored by the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership at UCLan

Young Achiever* (Under 21’s) Sponsored by Millers Taxis

Achievement/ Performance of the Year Junior Male Sponsored by Ashton Joinery

Achievement/ Performance of the Year Junior Female Sponsored by The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre

Achievement Performance of the Year Senior Sponsored by Shout Network

Sport for All award Sponsored by Preston North End Community and Education Trust

Team Performance of the Year Junior Sponsored by Preston Sports Forum

Team Performance of the Year Senior Sponsored by Real Care Solutions

School of the Year Primary School Sponsored by Go Velo

School of the Year Secondary School Sponsored by Wallwork Nelson and Johnson

Community Club of the Year Sponsored by Ambulant Physiotherapy Ltd

Higher/ Further Education Team of the Year Sponsored by Preston City Council

Special Recognition/ Service to Sport Sponsored by University of Central Lancashire

Lifetime Achievement Sponsored by Greenwich Leisure Ltd

Nomination forms can be obtained by emailing

Nomination deadline is Monday 18th February, 8pm emailed to or can be handed in at Fulwood or Westview Leisure Centre receptions clearly labelled for the attention of Kate Youngman