COLLEEN Gower said it came as a ‘lovely surprise’ to be the latest recipient of an FA 50-Year Service Award.
She was presented with her award by Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler at a recent meeting of the Suffolk FA Council. She received a medal, a tie pin and a letter to mark her achievement.
Colleen, who lives in Bungay, said: “It was a lovely surprise, and it was made all the more special as not many females receive this prestigious award.
“It was also special because I am the fifth member of the Lowestoft & District League committee to be presented with the award.”
The other members are her husband Brian, Mike Johnson, Mick Leeds and Richard May.
Colleen has worked tirelessly in local football for the past 50 years, supporting her husband Brian throughout their married life.
In 1967, after getting married the previous year, Brian was Secretary and Treasurer of Ellingham FC. Colleen would confirm which players were taking part each week, as well as writing out cards to the club secretaries and the referees.
In 1971, Brian started running Youth teams, as their youngest son had joined Kings Road Rangers FC, based in Bungay, and Colleen would always wash the kit.
In 1979, along with other parents, they both helped to raise £3,000 to take 23 boys, aged 13 and 14, to North and South Carolina for three weeks of football during the Easter holidays.
The following year Bungay Town FC asked Brian if he would run their three Saturday teams.
Colleen would wash all the 'A' team kit every Saturday night and also helped in the tea hut whenever needed. The club opened a licensed bar and she helped run that, as well as preparing hospitality food for all teams each Saturday.
Due to Brian being on shift-work, Colleen would often confirm each game with the visiting teams and the referees.
Brian became Secretary of Bungay Town FC in 1982 and finished in 2010. Later that year, he and Colleen joined the committee of the Lowestoft & District Saturday League.
Colleen took on the role of Results and Registrations Secretary and is still doing this at the present time.