PETER Vardon was presented with an FA 50-Year Service Award at the Suffolk FA Annual General Meeting.
The 80-year-old, who lives in Hadleigh, has actually been involved in Suffolk football since 1954. He is an Honarary Life Member of Suffolk FA and still serves on the Council.
After leaving school at the age of 16 he joined local club Bildeston Rangers, where he continued to play beyond his 39th birthday. He was never cautioned during his 23 years with the club, where he became a committee member and later treasurer.
The enthusiasm of a friend led to him taking up the whistle and he refereed in the Ipswich & District League, which later became the Suffolk & Ipswich League.
By then he had moved to Hadleigh and, because of his proximity and shortage of referees, he was frequently asked to officiate Hadleigh United’s matches. This led to the club asking him to become their fixture secretary.
He joined the SIL committee and became Hadleigh United club chairman as well as the club’s representative on the Suffolk FA Council. He served on various committees, in particular the Disciplinary Committee, and became Chairman of the West Suffolk Disciplinary Committee.
In 1993 he became county chairman, following in the footsteps of Alan Burrows of Westerfield United.
He recalled: “My period of chairmanship opened doors with entry to committees and gave me a thorough understanding of some areas where matters were not always open. My greatest interests were the Disciplinary area and County Cups management.”
Peter is pictured above with his medal at Thursday's AGM.