Keith Is Shocked By FA 50-Year Award

KEITH Penn admitted he was shocked to receive an FA 50-Year Service Award.

He was presented with a medal, tie pin and letter at Mettingham Football Club’s last home game of the season in Division 2A of the Norwich & District Sunday League.

Keith (above left) is pictured receiving his award from Suffolk FA Life Member Brian Gower.

The 67-year-old said: “It was a shock because it was only just before it happened that I knew what was going on. It was our last home game of the season and players were turning up extremely early, even one lad who is notoriously close to the mark with his timing was there early!

“I also noticed other people were present so I wondered what was going on. One of those was Graham Mickleburgh, who I found out had nominated me for the award. He played for Mettingham for several years as well as for Bungay, and had previously said to me I deserved some recognition.”

He said of his award: “I am very proud to receive it from The FA as not many people get presented with the award.”

Keith, who was born in Bungay and lives in Earsham, has been involved with Mettingham since the club’s formation.

Mettngham started as a Youth club side in 1965 and played friendly matches before affiliating to Suffolk FA in 1967 when Sunday football started and they joined the Beccles Sunday League.

Keith was the club’s first treasurer and then took on the role of secretary two years later and still holds both posts to this day.

He was also the club’s manager, but after taking a break resumed the role and reckons he has clocked up more than 40 years as manager as well as being the club’s groundsman.

He also played Saturday football for Earsham in two spells either side of turning out for Wortwell, and during that time also managed both Earsham’s first and reserve teams and also had two years as the club’s secretary in 1970-71 and 1971-72 season.

His last game was on April 15th 1990 away to Poll & Withey Windows. Mettingham lost 6-2 but Keith scored – one of just nine goals he netted in 513 games.

Keith, who also served on the Management Committee of the South Norfolk Sunday League from 1994-95 until the league disbanded in 2014, was twice voted the league’s Secretary of the Year, first in 1989-90 and then again in 2004-05.

He said: “There have been times when I have asked myself ‘so I really need this?’ but I still enjoy it. At the end of the day the number of good times far outweigh the bad times, although it is not getting easier as players are not so committed now.

“It is too easy for players to call off by sending a text rather than speaking to someone. They used to be less inclined to call off.”

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