THREE stalwarts of Coplestonians FC have received The FA 50-Year Service Award.
Dave Little, David Webb and Peter Whittaker were presented with their awards by Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal on Wednesday night at Humber Doucy Lane.
They each received a framed letter, The FA 50-Year Medal and a lapel badge.
The presentations were made before Coplestonians’ Macron SIL Senior Division match under the floodlights against Bildeston Rangers.
Pictured above (left to right) are Coplestonians FC Chair Wolfe Powell, David Webb, Dave Little, Peter Whittaker and Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler.
A former goalkeeper, Dave Little was born in Bishop’s Stortford and first played football for Stansted FC Reserves in Essex as a youngster in 1963.
He moved to Suffolk six years later to teach at Stradbroke Modern School and played a few games for Framlingham Town FC before joining Scole United FC, where he played for three years.
After starting teaching at Copleston School in Ipswich he found the travelling to Scole too much and so together with Kavan Boyden and Wolfe Powell he formed Coplestonians FC in 1972.
Dave played in goal for Cops and coached the team until 1982 and from then onwards managed and coached all three of the club’s teams until 2018.
He was instrumental in setting up the Suffolk Football Coaches Association along with Ron Abbott and Mick Banthorpe, subsequently becoming chairman.
Dave, who is now 74, helped coach the Junior Blues at Ipswich Town FC with Peter Trevivian with whom he then set up the Soccer Academy (SETEC programme) at Copleston.
Dave, who also helped coach South Suffolk Schools’ Under-15s for several seasons, is vice-chairman of Coplestonians and still coaches the pre-minis on Saturday mornings.
He said: “It is nice to get the recognition after giving something back to the sport you have been involved in for over 50 years.”
Dave Little is pictured above with his FA 50-Year award.
David Webb, who was born in Ipswich, has been involved in football since he first played as a youngster in 1969. He played for Guardian Royal Exchange FC, Whitton United FC and Tacket Street BBOB FC before joining Coplestonians in 1980.
He turned out intermittently on Sundays for GRE, Royal George FC, Spread Eagle FC and Old Times/Brickmakers FC between 1976 and 1996 and carried on playing for Coplestonians Vets up until the age of 50 in 2006.
David started coaching Youth football in 1974 and has coached at Coplestonians FC, Framlingham Town FC, Trimley Athletic FC. He has coached Coplestonians Youths since 2013 and also previously coached at the Ipswich Town FC Centre of Excellence.
He is a Coplestonians FC committee member and was project leader for the new 3G facility at Copleston in partnership with the school.
The 65-year-old said: “It is great to be recognised after all these years because you think the work you do goes under the radar.
“I have never been one of those coaches who pushes themselves forward and most of the coaching I have done has been to help out friends at clubs as well as with Coplestonians.”
David Webb is pictured above with his FA 50-Year award.
Woodbridge-born Peter Whittaker has been involved in football in Suffolk since playing for Melton Sports FC from 1969 until 1981 and Sunday Morning League side Melton Youth Club FC from 1969-1979.
He joined Coplestonians in 1981 and continued to play for the club until 1995.
Off the field he was secretary of Melton Sports from 1978-1981 and has been secretary of Coplestonians from 1985 to the present day.
Peter, who is 68, said: “It was a pleasant surprise. I am not usually one for awards and I avoid them where possible but is nice to be recognised not just as an administrator but as a player as well.”
Peter Whittaker is pictured above with his FA 50-Year award.
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