Richard Powell is the latest recipient of The FA 50-Year Service award.

The 75-year-old, who lives in Cornard, has been secretary of Long Melford FC since the 2004-05 season.

He was presented with his award by Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler before Monday’s Thurlow Nunn League game at home to Haverhill Rovers.

Richard said: “It makes you feel that what you have done has not been overlooked, so it is pleasing to be recognised for your contribution to football in the county.”

He has been a fine servant to football in the county for the past 54 years, apart from a brief spell away from the game in 2001 following the sudden death of his wife.

He was a founder member of Cornard United when the club first played in the Sudbury Sunday League back in the 1964-65 season.

Richard was appointed as the first club secretary in 1964 when they had first met in the back room of the local pub and served continuously in that role until 1998.

The club moved to Saturday football in the Bury & District Football League in 1966, where they stayed for five seasons, winning the league.

Cornard moved to the Halstead League and then Colchester & Essex League, before Richard hung up boots at age of 28 in the 1973-74 season following a serious ankle injury.

Richard then moved to Cornard Dynamos, where his son was involved, taking on the role of secretary for three seasons from 1998-89 to 2000-01.

He returned to football administration at Sudbury Athletic in the 2001-02 campaign and was their secretary for two-and-a-half seasons.

It was in the 2004-05 season that he was asked by Colin Woodhouse, chairman of Long Melford FC, to become their secretary, a post he continues to hold today, missing very few of their matches.

It is a well-run club much to the credit of Richard’s work, and the club have plans to redevelop the clubhouse and changing rooms at their Stoneylands ground. The club run two senior teams, an U18 and an U16 team plus nine boys’ and girls’ teams.

Richard, who was born in Wormingford, near Colchester, said: “I suppose the highlight was when Keith Martin took over at Cornard United when we were in the Border League and we won the league, league cup and Suffolk Senior Cup in the 1988-89 season.

“We applied to go into the Thurlow Nunn League, which had been running for one season, but we failed the pitch inspection initially, because we didn’t have floodlights.

“We were reluctantly accepted into the league and we walked away with Division One in our first season, and the following season with a team of local lads we were top Suffolk club in 1990-91.”

Richard, who has been a member of the Eastern Counties League Management Committee for the past ten seasons, has also been involved in local club cricket for the past 60 years, and is currently president of Great Cornard, one of his former clubs.

- Grants of £750 are on offer to men’s 11-a-side community football teams in Suffolk.

The newly-titled Stay in the Game scheme offers existing clubs the opportunity to apply for grants to help cover the various associated costs of running a team.

Last year, under the name Retain the Game, the scheme helped to support the retention of 2,336 adult male teams across the country, supporting an estimated 55,000 community footballers.

Clubs who benefited from the grants last year were able to use the funding for match-day and training facility hire, first-aid training and new equipment, whilst also subsidising match-day fees for members of their respective squads.

The application window for Stay in the Game is open until 5pm on Thursday, June 6th 2019.

Clubs seeking more information on the programme should either contact Jodie Allard at Suffolk FA on or visit the Football Foundation website.