Surprise award for Beccles football legend
- Credit: Archant
A great-grandfather's remarkable 47-year contribution to Beccles Town Football Club has been marked with a surprise pre-match lunch attended by more than 100 past and present players, coaches, managers and committee members.
Eighty-five-year-old John Humby, dubbed 'Mr Beccles FC', has served as both manager and secretary of the club, and after nearly five decades has hung up his boots for the last time. Mr Humby thought he was attending a fundraising event, but instead found himself the guest of honour surrounded by his family and friends at an event to recognise his achievements. This was followed by a presentation from Football Association representative John Pitts in recognition of 50 years voluntary service to football.
Club chairman Andy Woodcock said: 'To keep this secret was a challenge, John knows everyone and everyone knows John.
'Chris Brown and his Wife Di, Amanda Storey and many others did an incredible job in arranging this momentous occasion and a fitting way to honour John's contribution and dedication to BTFC following his retirement at the last AGM. We sincerely hope we continue to see John at College Meadow supporting his beloved Beccles Town FC.'
Mr Humby grew up in south-west London and at 17 joined his local youth club, playing football for a number of London teams, as well as enjoying a brief stint in Holland. He emigrated to Canada but came to Beccles in 1966 to work as a rep for a drinks company, and was offered the position of first team manager. He took the club from the bottom of the Anglian Combination League's division three to division one runners up during the next two seasons. He continued as manager until he became secretary in 1970, holding the position for 35 years, organising the teams, sponsorship and funrdaising.
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He said: 'I was truly amazed to see 140 past players, managers, committee members and their wives who were at the dinner to wish me well in my retirement.
'My association with the football club has helped me make so many friends throughout Suffolk and Norfolk including managers and players at Norwich City.
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'I shall of course continue to watch the club play on Saturdays at College Meadow.'
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