Special mention on the evening went to Howard Taylor (main picture), who has provided grassroots football with an astonishing 60 years of service; 42 of which have been in the Leicestershire and Rutland area.
Howard became a qualified Class 3 referee in 1956 and, three years later, was established as a Class 1 referee during his time in his home city of Manchester. Whilst in the north west, Howard progressed through the Manchester League, Cheshire League and Football Combination – becoming part of the Football League line in 1974, the year he moved to Leicester.
Refereeing in the Football League until his retirement in 1989, Howard’s last game as a match official was between Everton and West Ham United. During his time as a referee, Howard also served on international duty and refereed four England Schools internationals against Italy at the old Wembley Stadium.
For 40 years, Howard was also an instructor and a League Assessor, ending a 34-year association with the Football League in 2008. Since then, Howard has been assessing at a contributory level – and admits to thoroughly enjoying every moment.
Unfortunately, some award winners were unable to attend the evening's presentations. Congratulations to Lynne Meason, who has dedicated 15 years to grassroots football within Leicestershire and Rutland. Congratulations also go to Guy Stretton (35 years), Rick Greatwood (15 years) and Phil Moseley (15 years).
Well done also to Ian Hubber of Brandon Leys, who was named as the recipient of the 10 Year Club Secretary Award.
Many congratulations to all our winners on the evening, who are pictured below.
Brian Webster - 35 Years
Martin Dexter - 35 Years
Peter Hill - 25 Years
Roy Wilson - 25 Years
Carl Smith - 15 Years
Darren Withers - 15 Years
Dave Speight - 15 Years
Stewart Walker - 15 Years
David Frost - Life Membership