SUFFOLK FA sponsor Andy Wilding was left speechless when he received a surprise presentation.
Andy has been a long-standing sponsor of Suffolk FA Refereeing through his Martlesham-based business Globex Freight Management Ltd.
But when he was asked to join members of the Suffolk Centre of Refereeing Excellence, also known as the Suffolk CORE Programme, at one of this season’s county cup finals he was in for a pleasant surprise.
Andy and wife Kim were invited onto the pitch at Colchester United FC during half-time at last Thursday’s Suffolk Boys’ Under-18 Midweek Cup Final between AFC Sudbury and Ipswich Town.
They joined the group of high-performing match officials who throughout the season have worked with referee coaches to analyse and enhance their performances to prepare them to operate in the higher levels of the game.
Jon Block, Head Coach of the Suffolk CORE Programme, made the special presentation to mark the tenth anniversary of Andy’s sponsorship.
Suffolk FA Workforce Development Manager Alan Dale said: “Throughout the last ten seasons, Globex have offered outstanding support and all at Suffolk FA, including the members of the Suffolk CORE group, are grateful for their commitment to Suffolk Refereeing.”
Andy and Kim Wilding pictured with members of the Suffolk Centre of Refereeing Excellence at the presentation on the pitch at Colchester United FC. Main photograph: Andy and Kim Wilding with the framed shirt.
Andy was presented with a framed commemorative match referee shirt from this season’s Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Final between Needham Market and Leiston.
Andy said: “Kim and I was asked to attend because there would be a photo session with CORE referees showing our branding and Alan Dale thought it be a good idea if we were there in the photograph as sponsors of the Suffolk Referees.
“The presentation of the framed referee shirt dumfounded both Kim and myself. Indeed, it was a very pleasant shock – I was left speechless as I just wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Andy said of his long-standing association with Suffolk FA: “Refereeing development is very much in my blood. As a past referee, now a referee developer and tutor, I get a great deal of satisfaction seeing my brand on referee tops and jackets.
“I am proud, very proud. Suffolk FA does an enormous amount of work for our referees, so I am extremely proud to be part of that referee development partnership.”