Six of the Lancashire Sunday Football League’s long-serving club officials were honoured at this year’s annual general meeting of the Lancashire Football Association.
Frank Thompson, Carl Longshaw, Ken Harwood, Ronnie Crawley, Derek Dunderdale and David Wilcock were presented with commemorative medals for 30 years’ service to football.
Between them they have given 234 years of service to football in general and to the Lancashire Sunday League – formerly the Lancashire Evening Post League – in particular.
Thompson of Gregson Lane FC has been connected with the club since 1984 and the club secretary since 1986.
For more than 30 years he has been the driving force behind the growth of the football club, taking it from just two teams in 1988 to 16 teams in 2016, with players from Under-5s to Open Age.
Tanterton FC’s Longshaw is one of the founders of the club and he has been their club secretary from 2010 to date.
His connection with the league started with Fulwood Barracks FC as club secretary from 1979 until 1984, when he moved to Falkland Heroes FC as their club secretary from 1984 until 1994.
He joined the committee of Ingol Rangers in 1994 and became club secretary in 1996 until 2006 when he reverted back to a role on the club committee and he served the club in that capacity until 2010.
Harwood (Ingol Rangers) has been connected with the league since it was founded in 1967 as a player for Goss FC and then Greenbank Rovers. He sat his referee exam in 1970 before taking over the Adelphi Hotel two years later.
Harwood joined Ingol Rangers in 1982 and was voted on to to the club committee, where he has served as club secretary, fund-raiser and he is also the club president.
He was their official club linesman until 2011 when he retired at the aged 75.
Another Ingol Ranger man, Crawley has been connected with the Lancashire Sunday Football League since he joined Lane Ends FC as a player in 1974.
Two years later he signed for Ingol Rangers and was appointed club captain but a serious shoulder injury ended his playing career in 1980 and he was elected on to the club committee.
He has served Rangers in a variety of positions since 1980 and he is currently the club chairman.
Under his stewardship Ingol Rangers have been league champions four times, Challenge Cup winners three times and they won the LFA Sunday Trophy in 2003.
Dunderdale, of BAC Continental Casuals, is one of the longest-serving club officials in the Lancashire Sunday Football League.
He joined Fleece FC in 1980 as club secretary and he served them in that capacity until 1991.
He was approached by the late Jack Cunningham in 1991 and asked to join Continental Casuals FC as their secretary and he has held that position ever since.
And Wilcock (BAC Continental Casual)was one of the founder members of Continental Casuals FC who were formed in 1964 and are the oldest Sunday team in Preston.
He initially served on the committee before taking over as club secretary in 1969 until 1994, when he became club president and he still serves the club in that position. The club had always used the facilities at BAC Sports ground and Wilcock was instrumental in changing the clubs name to BAC Continental Casuals FC in 2000.
Wilcock received the LFA Long Service Award plus the Football Association Award for 50 years’ service to football.
Lancashire Sunday League president Eamonn McNamara said: “I am delighted for these six officials and we all thank them for the work that they have done for their clubs.
“It is also a great honour for the league which is now firmly established as one of the best in the county.”