SUFFOLK FA president Gordon Blake has passed away, aged 88.
Gordon, whose health had deteriorated in recent months, died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night at the nursing home in Woodbridge where he had been looked after for several years.
Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler said: “I was so sorry to hear Gordon has passed away.
“Gordon gave a lifetime of service to the Suffolk FA and football in Suffolk. He maintained his involvement and interest in county football to the end, attending county cup finals, council meetings and keeping in regular touch with the County FA.
“I personally always enjoyed and cherished my meetings with Gordon, gaining so much information and support from him. He will be sadly missed by everyone involved in Suffolk football.
“My thoughts, and those of everyone involved with Suffolk FA, are with Gordon’s family and friends at this sad time.”
He worked in the police force in Ipswich for eight years before becoming secretary of Crane Sports & Social Club in Playford Road, Ipswich for around 20 years.
His involvement in football administration goes back to when he was secretary of Ipswich Lads Club FC from 1953-1960.
He was a member of the management committee of the Ipswich & District Football League from 1954-1973.
Gordon (pictured above) became a Class 3 referee in the 1954-55 season and reached Class 1 in the 1961-62 season.
He became an Eastern Counties League linesman in 1961 and refereed in the league from 1967-1972.
Gordon was honorary registration secretary of the IDL between 1966 and 1970, and became the league’s vice-president in 1970.
He was a committee member of the Ipswich Inter-Firm competition from 1966-1980, honorary auditor from 1971-1981, president from 1976-1980 and vice-president from 1980 onwards.
In 1959 he was elected for one season only to the Suffolk County Football Association Council as Ipswich Lads’ Club’s Senior Representative.
He re-joined the Council in 1966 as Crane Sports Club Senior Representative.
From 1967 onwards he was a member of the county teams match committee.
Between 1971 and 1973 he was vice-chairman of the Council, and from 1973-1975 was Council chairman. He was then elected as a vice-president in 1974 and became president in 2001.
Other roles he held included being a member of the SCFA Referees’ Committee from 1971-2002 – he was chairman from 1974-2002 – and from 1974-1984 and 1992-2003 he was chairman of the Ipswich Area Disciplinary Committee.
He was also honorary county treasurer from 1980-2002.
His involvement with the Ipswich Sunday Morning League saw Gordon serve as chairman from 1969-1988, vice-president from 1988-2001 and president from 2001.