Date: 11th May 2016 at 10:02pm
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Stevenage have been recognised by the Football League in their annual Excellence Awards for Family Football experiences on a matchday.

The Award was created by the Football League back in 2007 to provide recognition for those clubs deemed to have provided an ‘outstanding experience’ on matchdays for young fans and families as the game sought to be more encompassing in a scheme that won the Gold Award at the European Professional Football Leagues’ Best Practice Awards.

44 clubs for the Football League pyramid were selected for recognition this year, despite their being an increase in the benchmark standard applied by the judging panel.

Part of the judging process factors in engaging and innovative matchday entertainment, including high levels of ticket booking assistance, extensive pre-match advice, guidance and materials, exciting entertainment both inside and outside the stadium, and money can`t buy experiences for young fans, amongst other things.

Clubs themselves are said to be setting new benchmark standards with improvements with the introduction of things like matchday menus for entertainment schedules with catering options, innovative locally-sourced refreshments, and also ‘magic moments’ of interaction with club mascots, players and enthusiastic family-friendly staff within dedicated family zones.

But enough of the public relations guff.

Bottom line is child and family attendance in games around the country is on the increase.

Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey explained.

‘The Football League Family Excellence Award continues to provide clubs with a standard to aspire to. The objective of the Award is to recognise those clubs who have successfully attracted more families and young fans to matches. Innovation is at the heart of clubs` success and the League`s partnerships with Channel 5 and Nickelodeon are part of an ongoing commitment to support clubs in this important area by increasing the profile of our games among the next generation of fans.’

Six clubs have secured the Award in every season since its inception.

Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Milton Keynes Dons, Cardiff City and Reading.

Wigan Athletic have been awarded the accolade for the first time.

Clubs receiving the Award in 2016 are:

AFC Wimbledon
Birmingham City
Blackburn Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
Brentford
Brighton & Hove Albion
Bristol City
Cardiff City
Carlisle United
Charlton Athletic
Chesterfield
Colchester United
Coventry City
Crewe Alexandra
Derby County
Doncaster Rovers
Exeter City
Fulham
Gillingham
Huddersfield Town
Ipswich Town
Leeds United
Luton Town
Middlesbrough
Millwall
Milton Keynes Dons
Northampton Town
Nottingham Forest
Notts County
Oldham Athletic
Oxford United
Peterborough United
Plymouth Argyle
Preston North End
Queens Park Rangers
Reading
Rotherham United
Scunthorpe United
Sheffield United
Southend United
Stevenage
Wigan Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers