Four dedicated Essex volunteers - David Barley, Jim Quilter, Maurice Carter and Terry Alder - have been named as the latest local recipients of the FA 50-Year Award to recognise them for decades of selfless dedication to grassroots football.
To be eligible for The FA’s ‘Order of Merit’ Award, a nominated individual must have completed 50 years as a volunteer, inclusive of their playing career but excluding any football played at school. Four more worthy recipients have been identified in Essex:
Dave has been with Belhus Park Athletic since he helped form them in the 1960s. He started playing football in 1961 for Belhus Barbarians, playing in a ‘Street Football League’ against other street teams. Dave’s team merged with another to form Belhus Park during the 1960’s. In 1970, he became their Secretary and Treasurer, taking over the management of the whole team in 1978.
He still plays the leading role, even though he has support for some of the position. Dave has been the life and soul of Belhus Park Athletic throughout its existence, holding every role at the club at some point. Over the past few years they’ve struggled for players, yet he has always got a team out and completed the season’s fixtures, sometimes with less than eleven players.
Although Dave is now 73, at least once a year he still puts on his boots and plays, looking younger than some of the regulars and showing his passion and skill! He is also an excellent club assistant referee. The Thurrock Association Sunday League have, on more than one occasion, awarded Dave for his professionalism as Secretary of the Year and Club Assistant Referee of the Year.
He is recognised by the league as an honest and loyal supporter of football. Dave is a true football man who is loyal to his team and the league they play in. Dave never misses a meeting and always gets a team out each Sunday.
Jim’s football journey began in 1960 when he started playing as a goalkeeper or defender for St Margaret’s Reserves in Leaden Roding. He then moved on to become Manager, physio and club linesman, refereeing many games when the team couldn’t get an official for home games.
Jim ‘officially’ started refereeing in 1966 as a mutually-agreed person in the Chelmsford Mini League for Under 13s players. He also refereed scouts’ football. The connection was his wife, Glenys, who, to this day, is involved in guiding and scouting. He was encouraged to take-up refereeing officially in 1970, and his enthusiasm was quickly recognised.
In 1972, he joined as a Committee Member of the Chelmsford Referees Society, just two years after taking up the whistle. He then went on to become their Coaching Officer in 1975 until 1986 and has also dedicated time to be a match observer for referees, from newly-qualified to Level 5 officials.
Jim has been an ear and shoulder to referees always, open to debate and question, passing on his invaluable experience and guidance. In 1980, he was named as Chairman of the Chelmsford Referees Society until 1990, when he became Patron, a role he still holds today.
In 1985 he was nominated, and appointed, as Vice-Chairman of the Essex Referees Association, forging links with the National Referees Association. This was a position he held until 1994. He then took-up the position of the Essex RA’s Benevolent Fund Secretary and Treasurer, a role he holds to date. He was awarded a Life Membership of the Essex RA in 2012.
Jim officiated on the Eastern Counties League (Step 5), the Essex & Herts Border Combination (Step 6), the Mid Essex League, the Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League and the Chelmsford Youth League. He was appointed to represent the Essex Referees Association as a Council Member of the Essex County FA in 1990, until he reached retirement age in 2010.
Upon this, he was awarded a Vice-Presidency of the County FA. He has always supported the County FA’s representative teams, traveling around the country with the team’s Boys Under 16s and 18s, plus the Women’s Teams. He can still be seen at these games, always willing to help, as he has done at County Cup Finals, where he acts as support and liaison to the match officials.
Jim was at the forefront of the instigation of the Essex Women’s and Girls’ Leagues, and is still involved, being a major driving force in promoting local female football. He has seen these leagues grow, with more and more women and girls now playing the game. He is seen as a guiding force, which is a credit to his determination and skill.
Maurice started playing football in 1965 with Bakers Arms FC. He was a fringe player between 1965 and 1967 and was reserve as in those days as the First Team could not use substitutes. He was also one of the club’s fundraiser’s during that time, securing the money for kit and the day-to-day running of the club. He left Bakers Arms in 1972.
From 1969 to 1977, Maurice was Secretary of the Danbury Sports & Social Club and was associated with White Swan FC, a local pub. They went on to be renamed Priory Sports, and Maurice was instrumental in moving the new side to the Sports & Social Club.
He has been mostly involved with Sunday football, and has been with White Swan and Priory Sports, who play in the Chelmsford area, since 1975, for 40 of those years in their management team. Priory have been very successful, winning many prestigious cup competitions. They always welcome clubs, officials and visitors to their games - their hospitality is tremendous.
Maurice has held various positions with Priory Sports, stretching back to 1975 when he was a Second Team player until 1990. In 1980, he took over as Player-Manager of the Second Team until 1990, and continued as manager until 1995. He has also acted for both the First and Second Teams as Assistant Manager from time to time.
He became Social Secretary in 1980, holding that position until 1985, when he was appointed as Vice-Chairman. In 1995 he was named as Chairman and he still is to this day. Under his guidance, the community-focussed club has grown, attracting good, loyal players.
Maurice played football for other clubs on Saturdays, namely Woodham Town from 1978 to 1992 and Moulsham Lodge from 1993 to 1995. He has also been a member of the Management Committee of the Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League, firstly as a Committee Member in 1991, then as the league’s Vice-Chairman from 2008.
In 2011, he took on the role of Chairman until 2015. He was then elected as their Vice-Chairman in 2015, a position he still holds today. Maurice is a true football man who is loyal to his team and also working for his league, both as voluntary positions.
Terry’s story started in season 1961/62 when he turned out for Claybury Hospital in the Ilford & District League, playing for them for two years. His journey then took a surprisingly different direction in 1965 when he mistakenly turned-up and played for the wrong club without realising it! It was a mistake which changed not only his fortunes, but that of Melbourne Sports!
He is still with them, undertaking the role of Secretary of a club who have existed for almost 70 years. Terry’s association with Melbourne Sports spans from 1965 to the present day - 47 years as the Secretary and 25 as a player. Terry was a good park player, always turning out with his team, even if it was a Reserve Team game, always giving 100%.
Terry took up the whistle as a match official between 1961 and 1965. He was good enough to be appointed as an Assistant Referee in a final for the Ilford & District League. Between the seasons in 1983 to 1993, Terry was also manager of a youth team from the eights to 18s age groups at Collier Row YFC who played in Barking and Echo Youth Leagues.
He was recognised for his knowledge of the grassroots game by joining the Management Committee of the Ilford & District League, as Secretary and then as Vice-Chairman, between 1994 and 2014. The competition amalgamated with the Essex Business Houses League to form the Essex Alliance League at the end of 2013/14 due to a reduction in participating clubs.
The new league nominated him as their first Chairman, a role he still holds to this day. Under his and the committee’s guidance, they have grown in strength, with 52 clubs registered for 2019/20. Terry is a true football man who is loyal to his team, also working as a volunteer for his league.
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