KEVIN Theobald is the latest recipient of The FA Long Service Award.
He was presented with the award at the Suffolk FA County Cup Final Officials 2021-22 Celebration Evening at Henley Community Centre, near Ipswich, on Monday evening.
The 61-year-old, who lives in Sudbury, said: “It has been an honour to be a Suffolk referee for all those years.
“I wish Suffolk FA all the best going forward and hope I can have many more years or refereeing.”
Kevin first played football in 1970 for Lavenham Angels Boys’ teams, where he was the team’s centre forward, until 1976.
His brother Dave, who has already received The FA 50-Year award, was a referee and he persuaded Kevin to take the Referees’ Examination, which he passed in 1977.
Kevin Theobald (right) is pictured above receiving his award from Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler (left) on Monday evening. Main photograph: Kevin Theobald with his award.
He was promoted to Class 1 (now Level 4) in 1996 and has refereed regularly in many local Leagues, including the Suffolk & Ipswich League, the Essex & Suffolk Border League, The FA Women’s Premier League and the Eastern Counties Football League.
Kevin spent many years as a contributory linesman and in the early days as a fourth official on Football League matches until that system was discontinued.
Kevin has had many County FA appointments both as a referee and assistant referee, including Assistant Referee at the Senior Cup Finals in both 2002 and 2015 and as referee in 2006.
Kevin was Chairman of the Sudbury & Haverhill branch of the Referees’ Association for a number of seasons until the mid-1990s.
He has been appointed as fourth official for this season’s Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup Final between Stowmarket Town Reserves and Walsham-le-Willows Reserves at Bury Town FC on Saturday, May 14th.