SUFFOLK FA Vice Chair Bruce Badcock said receiving this year’s Active Suffolk Lifetime Achievement Award was the pinnacle of his football career.
The 78-year-old, who lives in Haverhill, was presented with the award at the Active Suffolk Awards Ceremony 2023 at Trinity Park on Friday evening.
He 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.
Bruce, whose family were there to see him collect the award as well as Suffolk FA Board members and staff, said: “This is totally unexpected and something I really appreciate.
“I don’t expect any reward whatsoever, but to be here tonight and to be recognised is the pinnacle of my football career.”
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said: “I have been privileged to have been in attendance at the Active Suffolk Awards to witness local sporting heroes such as Bill Tancred MBE, Terry McEntee, Sheelagh Watts, Mike Whatling and Andy Read awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Bruce fully deserves to be joining that list of giants who have contributed so significantly to the Suffolk sport and physical activity scene.
“His dedication to furthering football in Suffolk knows no bounds. He continues to play a significant role in the furtherance of Haverhill Community Sports Association and the sporting hub which is being constantly developed at The New Croft.
“His knowledge, wisdom and foresight as a Life Member of the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Football League continues to be invaluable to the league management committee.
“And for Suffolk FA, his attentiveness, care, energy and rigour as Vice Chair ensures the organisation meets the right blend of continuous internal improvement and supporting members and stakeholders.
“Whilst Bruce shows no hint of retracting or slowing down, far from it, I am grateful that this Lifetime Achievement Award goes some way to recognising the immense contribution he has and continues to make so energetically to Suffolk FA as an organisation and football more generally across the county and region.”
Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler said: “I was delighted to hear Bruce was this year’s recipient of the Active Suffolk Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Bruce is an outstanding member of the Suffolk FA Board of Trustees and supporter of grassroots football. As vice-chair of the Board he champions local football and is a voice for clubs, leagues, officials and volunteers.
“He has served the Board of Suffolk FA for over 10 years, mentoring and supporting staff and board members. On behalf of myself and the Board of Trustees, congratulations Bruce and thank you for all your years of service to grassroots football.”
Bruce’s involvement in sports administration goes back to the formation of the Cambridge & District Sunday League in 1965. He was appointed to the role of Assistant Secretary, before quickly becoming Secretary until 1971.
His long-standing relationship with the Eastern Counties League, which continues to this day, began in 1985 when he was appointed Secretary and later simultaneously holding the post of Treasurer.
His work saw him relocate to Hampshire but by 1993 Bruce resumed his role as secretary with the Eastern Counties League and continued for a further 12 years. He has since become a Life Member of the league.
Bruce joined the Isthmian League as their League Secretary in 2005-2011. He was also treasurer from 2005-12 and Youth League Secretary from 2011-13.
In September 2012 Bruce joined the Suffolk FA Board as a Director. He was County Cup Competitions Manager from 2013 until 2016 when he suffered a cardiac arrest whilst driving on the M25.
After receiving CPR on the roadside, Bruce received further life-saving care as he was airlifted to hospital. He miraculously 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 received The FA 50-Year Long Service Award prior to the Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Final at Colchester United FC in April 2022.
Having been elected as Suffolk FA Vice Chair in July 2020, Bruce has been pivotal in Suffolk FA registering as a charity in April 2022, and being awarded The FA’s Code of Governance for County FA’s in August of this year.
He continues as a County FA Discipline Secretary, Suffolk FA Council Representative for Steps 3&4, Chair of the Suffolk FA Finance, Risk, and Audit Committee and Suffolk FA Trustee.
Suffolk FA and BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS) were shortlisted for the Innovative Project of the Year.
The Face-to-Face joint Playmaker Course was one of three entries shortlisted in the category.
The award sponsored by the University of Suffolk, was won by Bury Rural, Stanton & Woolpit Strength & Balance.