The Football NSW Fair Play Award acknowledges individuals or teams playing within Football NSW who have demonstrated an outstanding example of Fair Play and good sportsmanship during the 2017 football season.
The 2017 Fair Play Award Winner was taken out by Gladesville Hornsby Football Association’s Normanhurst Eagles First Grade Premier League side.
A Gladesville Hornsby FA Premier League first grade match between Epping Eastwood Tigers FC and Normanhurst Eagles was played on the 29th of July.
The score was 1-1 in a very tight and competitive match.
It appeared that Epping Eastwood had scored but neither the assistant referee nor the referee were satisfied that the ball had crossed the line. However, the players in the vicinity had seen that the ball had hit the support stanchion and bounced back out, and as a result, an Epping Eastwood player picked the ball up to transfer it back to the middle for a kick-off.
After consulting the assistant referee, the referee awarded a free kick for hand ball against Epping Eastwood. However, the Normanhurst captain passed the ball back to their keeper who then kicked the ball back into his own net scoring an own goal. The match ended 2-1 to Epping Eastwood, and the result was significant in that Epping Eastwood finished equal first at the end of the season.
Spectators who observed the incident said it was the most extraordinary act of sportsmanship they had seen, and a credit to all involved with the Normanhurst club.