DAVE Theobald’s involvement in Suffolk football has resulted in him receiving an FA 50-Year Service Award.
The 71-year-old, who lives in Lavenham, was presented with his award by Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler at Thursday’s Annual General Meeting.
He started playing at the age of 15 in 1962 when he joined his local club Lavenham RBL. Over the following years he played for Lavenham Angels, Cockfield United, Bury Town, Bury YMCA and Robert Boby, before finally retiring in 1978. He also ran and managed Lavenham Little Angels Youth from 1972-1978.
Dave refereeing in 1978, reaching the then level of Class 1 and is still officiating as a Level 5 Senior County Referee.
In his early career he officiated on the Bury Saturday League, Suffolk & Essex Border League, Halstead League and Sudbury Sunday League, before progressing to the Eastern Counties League.
He became a county assessor, eventually moving on to become a Contributor and Supply Assessor/Observer, a position he still holds.
After registering as a referee he joined the Sudbury & Haverhill Referees’ Association, remaining a member until its closure. During this time he was chairman, training officer and a committee member, and was rewarded Life Membership.
Dave was one of a number of people involved in organising the rebirth of the Sudbury Sunday League, holding the positions of league secretary and league referees secretary, and still holds the latter position. For the last few seasons he has also been the league’s FA representative on the Suffolk FA Council.
Since his election to the Council in 1994 as an area representative he has sat on various committees including discipline, adult leagues and referees.
He said: “I am delighted to receive this accolade and I am looking forward to being involved in football for as many years to come as possible.”
Dave is pictured above with his medal at Thursday’s AGM.