2017's final fair play kings named!

1 year ago By David Watters

Lancaster City, Atherton Collieries and joint winners Lincoln United and Newcastle Town are heading into 2018 as the Northern Premier League's Frank Whittle Partnership fair play kings!

The quartet were unveiled on Tuesday as the best behaved clubs over the final month of 2017 in the EVO-STIK League Premier, EVO-STIK League North and EVO-STIK League South divisions respectively.

Thanks to the new sponsorship of the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) for the NPL's historic 50th anniversary season, the clubs are now in the running for a share of more than £5,000 in prize money the Northern Premier League hands out annually to the campaign's overall fair winners to promote sportsmanship and fair play and back the Football Association's ongoing Respect campaign.

As in previous campaigns, the winners in each division will collect £1,000 with the runners-up banking £500 and the third placed clubs £250 each. The most sporting club with the lowest disciplinary score across the EVO-STIK League's three divisions will also be presented with the Peter Swales President's Cup by FWP representatives at next June's annual awards night in Blackpool.

November's winners topped the fair tables generated by a totting up of red and yellow cards divided by the number of fixtures clubs have played each month. Clubs must play at least four league games to be eligible for the monthly honours and where tied on points, marks awarded by referees for behaviour in the technical area by managers and coaches are taken into account.

Lincoln United are the only one of the clubs to be named for a second time this season as joint December winners alongside Newcastle Town in EVO-STIK League South after the Whites shared September's inaugural accolade in the division with Gresley.

Like Newcastle under the guidance of Robert Askey, Sam Wilkinson and his side posted a disciplinary score of 0.50 for the two cautions they collected in four EVO-STIK League outings. They share the division's award for a second time after notching up identical marks for behaviour in their respective technical areas. Leek Town still lead the overall fair play table with Chasetown third, Newcastle third and the Whites up to sixth.

Atherton Collieries are up to third in the season to date table in EVO-STIK League North behind leaders South Shields and second-placed Scarborough Athletic after being unveiled as the division's best behaved team in December, Michael Clegg's side posting a disciplinary score of 1.25 for the five cautions they collected in fours outings.

To finally earn a surprising first fair play accolade of the season, Lancaster City manager Phil Brown saw his side post a disciplinary average of 0.75 in the top flight for the three cautions they collected in four outings. The Dolly Blues lead the way in the season's overall table for a fourth successive month with Witton Albion still close behind in second spot and Nantwich Town not far behind in third.

Preston-based FWP stepped up their support for the EVO-STIK League for the milestone anniversary season to build on their 10 years of work as existing sponsors and partners. As well as backing the EVO-STIK League's fair play mission on the pitch, the sponsors are rolling out a series of initiatives off it for all 68 clubs.

Focusing on stadium development, they include an online survey of the needs of clubs and regular updates on the latest industry news and schemes. Representatives from member clubs are also getting the chance to meet up with FWP's experts throughout the campaign at regional meetings and other events including June's annual showcase for sponsors and partners before the end of season awards night at Blackpool's Hilton Hotel.

To view the latest Fair Play tables click on the 'League Info' button on the home page and then 'Press Releases' under the 'Downloads' tab.

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