It is no secret just how far and wide Steelers Nation reaches. From Pittsburgh's North Side to the Far East, there's a very good possibility that another Steelers fan is close by. For a group of fans in the United Kingdom, each season brings a new opportunity to visit their "home away from home" in Pittsburgh.
Gordon Dedman started SteelerNation UK back in the mid-1980s. Following each Steelers season, the club votes on their own Most Valuable Player on their Facebook page. Dedman provides a resume and stats breakdown for each candidate and then it is open to the club's members to vote on their choice for MVP.
On his annual trip to Pittsburgh to see the team play, Dedman and a group of fans make a stop at Steelers practice to present the SteelerNation UK MVP award.
On Wednesday afternoon at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Pete Ridley, representing SteelerNation UK, presented this year's award to K Chris Boswell in recognition of his outstanding performance last season. The first-year kicker was 29-32 on field goals in 12 regular-season games, and was a perfect 7-7 in the postseason, including the game-winner in the AFC Wild Card Game
"I don't know what to say. It's awesome. I definitely wasn't expecting it," Boswell said. "It could have gone to anyone on the team. Definitely humbled."
For Dedman, who has made over 20 trips to Pittsburgh since the early 1990s, being able to present this award each year means a great deal to him on a number of levels. Not only is it a fun experience personally, but he's proud to represent his SteelerNation UK fan club and the strong contingent of Steelers fans in the United Kingdom.
"It's something that puts SteelerNation UK's name with the organization. It makes you aware that there is a group of fans that love the team avidly," said Dedman. "There's no doubt about that, whatsoever."
The first SteelerNation UK MVP was RB Barry Foster following the 1992 season, when he ran for 1,690 yards and 11 touchdowns. Other past winners of the award include Ben Roethlisberger (2014), Antonio Brown (2013) and a pair of Hall of Famers in Kevin Greene and Rod Woodson.
Steelers Nation Unite recognizes fans around the world, like Gordon Dedman and SteelerNation UK, for their loyalty and dedication to their team. To learn more or join the official home of Steelers Nation, visit SteelersNationUnite.com now.