Glasshoughton Welfare match secretary Barry Bennett has been honoured by the Football Association after completing more than 50 years service to the game.
Barry has been awarded a boxed medallion and lapel badge by the FA with both bearing the FA Three Lions monogram and stating: “In recognition of 50 years service to football.”
He was presented with the awards by Barry Chaplin, the West Riding County FA representative to the FA.
Barry’s local football links started back in 1955 when he began playing, aged just 14, with his local village team Fairburn Welfare in the former Pontefract & District League.
After leaving school he attended Castleford Youth Club and as player/secretary formed a team to play, again in the Pontefract League.
Following a couple of seasons he joined works outfit Pollard & Philidas, playing in the West Yorkshire League, and after a short period took over as club secretary.
A change of career took Barry to Hickson & Welch Chemical Company and following a short period as a player he took on the role of secretary in the Castleford Sunday League.
While at Hicksons he was approached by the late Joby Merrick and in 1971 became a member of the Castleford & District FA, serving as assistant manager to the district under 17s team for a number of seasons before being electedchairman of the District FA in 1997, a position he still currently holds.
In 1974 Barry joined the committee of Fryston Colliery Welfare, who were playing in the West Yorkshire League at the time, and took over as secretary a couple of seasons later when they entered the then prestigious Yorkshire League.
Following the demise of Fryston Welfare in 1992 he moved on to near neighbours Pontefract Collieries, spending a number of seasons as match secretary before joining Glasshoughton Welfare in the Northern Counties East League.
He remains with Welfare to this day where is currently the match secretary.