Nick Parsons and Tony Richardson, both of Sandon Royals FC, have been recognised with FA 50-Year Awards for their services and dedication to grassroots football.
Co-founders of Great Baddow British Legion Royals FC in 1973, Nick and Tony both still play an active part today in what is now Sandon Royals FC, the club having re-located and changed their name in 1993. Their well-deserved mementoes were presented to them by Essex County FA Chairperson and FA Representative, Andy Chaplin.
The club were founded when a group of friends, including Nick and Tony, graduated out of youth football and they decided to form a team, entering adult football through the Mid-Essex League. In his playing time with Royals, Nick appeared in 686 matches, scoring 382 goals, spanning over 28 years. After hanging up his boots in 2001, he became Treasurer, and he’s continued ever since. More recently, Nick has set up the Sandon Royals website.
Tony played 230 times and became First Team Manager at the age of 26. He continued to manage for the next 15 seasons before taking on other roles in the club, and he’s now been Chairman for the last 20 years. During this time, Tony has also served on the Management Committee of the Mid-Essex League.
Sandon Royals almost folded in 2012, but Tony, Nick and other long-standing club members got together and managed to ensure they stayed in existence. Since then, Royals have started to rebuild themselves back to their former glory. Outside of their committee duties, Nick and Tony have also been involved in ground and clubhouse maintenance, looking for fresh players and seeking sponsors to assist with the development of the club.
Congratulations to Nick and Tony for their awards! If you’d like to find out more about becoming a volunteer in grassroots Essex football, browse the menus above. You can also interact via the @EssexCountyFA account on Twitter/X or by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.