THE presentation of an FA 50-Year Award was kept a surprise from Bruce Badcock.
Bruce is widely regarded as one of the leading sports administrators in the region, having dedicated over 50 years to serving the game in a variety of roles.
In his role as Suffolk FA Vice Chair Bruce was a member of the presentation party introduced to the teams before last Thursday’s Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Final at Colchester United FC.
But the 76-year-old, who lives in Haverhill, did not know that he was then about to receive his own presentation of the FA Long Service Award, which was made by Suffolk FA President David Sheepshanks CBE.
Bruce said afterwards: “It is a privilege to be recognised for doing something I love, and this award is something I regard very highly.
“One of the best parts of my involvement is how many friends I have made in football over the last fifty years.”
In February 1964, Bruce was a member of the group which decided to form the Cambridge & District Sunday League. Upon formation Bruce was appointed to the role of Assistant Secretary, before quickly becoming secretary until 1971. It was from here his passion and penchant for sports administration began.
In 1976 Bruce was elected to the position of Chair of the Cambridge & District Sunday League, a position he held until 1978, for the 1971-72 season undertaking both the Chair and General Secretary role.
Bruce joined Cambridgeshire FA in 1965 for three years and then re-joined in 1971. In 1977 Bruce was appointed as Referees Officer, a position he held until 1985.
In 1986 Bruce was elected Life Vice President of the Cambridge & District Sunday League, alongside his father Harold.
In 1985 Bruce began a long-standing relationship with the Eastern Counties League, which continues to this day. From 1985-1990 Bruce held the position of Honorary Secretary for the league, simultaneously holding the post of treasurer until 2006.
A bump in the road came in 1990 when Bruce and family were required to move to Hampshire for his ‘day job’, but by 1996 Bruce had resumed his role as Secretary with the Eastern Counties League and continued for a further nine years.
He has since become a Life Member of the Eastern Counties League and continues to play an active role in league matters.
In 2005, Bruce joined the Isthmian League as their League Secretary which he held until 2011. He was also treasurer from 2005-12 and Youth League Secretary from 2011-13.
In September 2012 Bruce was invited to join the Suffolk FA Board as a Director. He held the role of County Cup Competitions Manager from 2013 until 2016 when Bruce suffered a cardiac arrest whilst driving on the M25, heading for a party in Milton Keynes.
After receiving CPR on the roadside, Bruce received further life-saving care as he was airlifted to hospital. Miraculously Bruce has made a full recovery, returning to the Suffolk FA Board and becoming the county’s representative on the FA Council in 2014.
He contributed to committees including the National Game Finance Committee and League Committee before his tenure was bought to an end in 2021 due to reaching the age limit.
Bruce continues as a County Discipline Secretary, Suffolk FA Council representative for Steps 3 & 4, and Suffolk FA Director using the experience he’s gained over the years to bring wisdom, balance, and leadership to the County FA.
Pictured above (left to right) are Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal, Bruce Badcock, Suffolk FA President David Sheepshanks CBE and Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler.