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Furman wins top Maccabi GB award

    Benjamin and Aaron Furman were b’nei mitzvah at Pinner Synagogue
    Benjamin and Aaron Furman were b’nei mitzvah at Pinner Synagogue

    Dean Furman completed a memorable few months when he was named Maccabi GB Sportsperson of the Year on Sunday night.

    The Doncaster Rovers midfielder, who was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Radlett, saw off the challenge of four other nominees to win the John Dymant Senior Sportsperson Trophy, and a cheque for £1,000.

    Furman has really made his mark in the game over the last couple of seasons. He is now a regular in the South African national team and last week helped them claim a 1-0 victory over world champions Spain.

    Earlier in the year, he was one of the star performers at the African Cup of Nations and scored his first goal in international football.

    Domestically, he moved from Oldham Athletic to Doncaster and helped them win the League 1 title on the last day of the season.

    He scored in Rovers' 2-1 victory over Yeovil in the Championship on Friday, but was later sent off for two cautionable offences.

    Furman said: "Making my debut for South Africa was a special moment, as was winning the title with Doncaster.

    "Playing at the Africa Cup of Nations was a propud moment and a great experience which I will never forget."

    Speaking about his Jewish identity, Furman said, “I was brought up in a traditional, Jewish family, I went to a Jewish school and now I live up in Manchester in a predominantly Jewish area.

    "My Jewish roots are all around me, I am very traditional in my beliefs and I continue to practice Judaism, so to win this award is very special to me."

    Tennis star Lillian Geey was runner-up in the Senior category, with triathlete Ivan Green third.

    Squash starlet Elise Lazarus, 13, won the Sam Bulka Junior Sportsperson of the Year accolade.

    The Redbridge Squash Club member is no. 1 in the national under-15 rankings and no. 4 in the under-23 category.

    Powerlifter Shachar Head came runner-up, with trampolining star Josh Newman in third.

    The event, held at the Radlett Arts Centre, also acknowledged the outstanding achievements of Maccabi GB’s 19th Maccabiah Games Delegation with the UJIA Team of the Year Award jointly going to Team Maccabi GB’s Junior Netball Squad and U16 Boys Football squad. Team Maccabi GB’s Junior Rugby Squad was awarded the Runners-Up prize.

    Athlete Ellie Edwards was presented with the European Maccabi Confederation’s Most Valuable Player Award for her hat-trick of medals in Israel over the summer, alongside Dutch wheelchair Basketballer, Marc de Hond.

    MGBSFL chairman David Wolff collected the Richard Urban Lifetime Achievement Award. Other prestigious accolades were presented to Juliette Wise (CST Young Sportsperson of the Year Award), David Kyte (Maccabi GB Gold Medal Award), David Pinnick (Ken Gradon Award for Outstanding Contribution to Team Maccabi GB), Brian & Helena Green and Alex Pinnick (all Maccabi GB Silver Medal Awards) and Sandra Waldman (Fred Worms Award for Volunteering).

    Speaking about the evening, Elizabeth Fishel, Maccabi GB’s Events Manager, said: "The Maccabi GB Sports Awards is one of the highlights of the Jewish Community’s calendar. To recognise the talent, commitment, dedication and achievements of all those involved in Jewish sport over the past year is incredibly important and Maccabi GB is proud to host this event.

    "We would like to thank everyone who attended the ceremony, either as a guest or helping to run the show, and an enormous ‘mMazel tov’ to all the winners."

    A total of 300 people attended the awards ceremony, which was hosted by TV presenters Olivia Wayne, Emma Pollard and Rob Nothman, and included entertainment by singer, Talia Welka, and magician, Nick Einhorn. Amongst those in attendance were Vice President of Maccabi World Union and Life President of Maccabi GB, Bob Glatter, President of the European Maccabi Confederation Stuart Lustigman, Chairman Motti Tichauer and Sports Director Robert Cohen, President of Maccabi GB Stanley Cohen, Chairman Michael Ziff, Vice Chairman, Daniel Collins, CEO, Martin Berliner, and Maccabi GB Vice Presidents and trustees.

    A full list of winners can be found below:

    John Dymant Senior Sportsperson of the Year Award
    Winner: Dean Furman (Football)
    Runner-up: Lillian Geey (Tennis)
    Third Place: Ivan Green (Triathlon)

    ---------------------------

    Sam Bulka Junior Sportsperson of the Year Award
    Winner: Elise Lazarus (Squash)
    Runner-up: Shachar Head (Powerlifting)
    Third Place: Joshua Newman (Trampoline)

    ---------------------------

    UJIA Team of the Year Award
    Joint-Winners: 19th Maccabiah Games U16 Football Team and 19th Maccabiah Games Junior Netball team
    Runner-up: 19th Maccabiah Games Junior Rugby Team

    ---------------------------

    Maccabi GB Gold Medal Award
    David Kyte

    ---------------------------

    Maccabi GB Silver Medal Award
    Brian Green, Helena Green, Alex Pinnick

    ---------------------------

    Ken Gradon Award for Outstanding Contribution to Team Maccabi GB
    David Pinnick

    ---------------------------

    Richard Urban Lifetime Achievement Award
    David Wolff

    ---------------------------

    CST Young Leader of the Year Award
    Juliette Wise

    ---------------------------

    Fred Worms Award for Volunteering
    Sandra Waldman

    ---------------------------

    European Maccabi Confederation Most Valuable Player Award
    Ellie Edwards, Marc De Hond

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