Ian latest to receive FA 50-Year Award
IAN Friend is the latest recipient of The FA 50-Year Service Award.
He was presented with his award by Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal at the Elmswell Tavern on Sunday when he was joined by former players, sponsors and colleagues involved with Tostock FC.
Ian, who was just 16 at the time, helped to form Tostock FC in 1971 and has been ever-present since.
He was ever-present as a player in the side both across the 1970s and 1980s before retiring from playing at the age of 35.
At the age of 30 Ian was appointed club secretary and treasurer ensuring he attended all annual League AGM meetings and kept the finances of the club in a good position.
On match days Ian once again provided immense support to the playing management team through washing the kit, putting the goals up at the crack of dawn and being the club's linesman.
His desire and dedication for Tostock FC and all county-level football has remained consistently high with him always challenging the team's management to win a cup every year.
In recent years Tostock have had a very successful period, winning three Bury Sunday League open cups and one Suffolk FA County Cup which Ian has played an integral part in.
Ian also first registered as a referee on December 2nd 1985, eventually being promoted to a Level 5 Senior Country referee on July 29th, 2008.
He was an assistant referee on the Eastern Counties League for several years and received several County Cup Semi-Final and Final appointments, including refereeing the Final of the Suffolk FA Veterans’ Cup in the 2016-17 season, before retiring earlier this year.
Ian, who is now 66, said: “I was very surprised to see Richard there and was honoured to receive the awards from the Suffolk County FA CEO. I thought I was just going along to have a drink with a few former club footballers.”