Bobby Charlton holds the Torch for sports volunteers

Sir Bobby Charlton had to agonise from afar on Wednesday night, as his beloved Manchester United crashed out of the League Cup to Crystal Palace.

Sir Bobby was on duty in London as president of the Torch Trophy Trust, which was staging its 49th annual awards to recognise volunteers in sport.

“We are all very lucky to be part of it,” Sir Bobby said before the awards were presented by Princess Alexandra at the Army and Navy Club in London.

The Torch Trophy Trust has its origins in the 1948 Olympics, having been presented with the torch used on the last leg of the relay into Wembley Stadium.

Today, the Trust provides small bursaries to assist volunteers in sport and recognises those who have been identified as making an outstanding contribution as a volunteer in their chosen sport.

The Trust is run by volunteers, and its Trustees include some well known names in sport, including Roger Uttley, Alan Pascoe, Jimmy Hill and SJA chairman Barry Newcombe.

The 2011 award-winners are:

John Knight, Redhill, Nottingham, nominated by England Athletics.
Phillip Gardner, Letchworth Garden City, British Deaf Sports Council.
David Spencer, Moreton, Wirral, Badminton England.
Duncan Turner, Cardiff, Welsh Fencing.
Freda Bussey, Worthing, Volleyball England.
Jo Maher, Wimborne, Tennis.
Mike McBrien, Liverpool, Tennis.
Ernie Pike, Stourport, Football.
Ken James, Mansfield, Women’s Rugby.
Dave Marsden, Hayling Island, Rugby.
Harold White, Bangor, Orienteering.
Peter Turner, Whitchurch, Archery.
Jenni Morgan, Broxbourne, Gymnastics.
Bill Barton, Bury, Weightlifting.
Brian Barnett, Sutton in Ashfield, Swimming.
David Gavrilovic, London, British Blind Sport.
Terry McLernon, Glasgow, Scottish Disability Sport.
Mohamed Ali Hanif, Manchester, Football.
Ian Proctor, London, Football.