One of the longest serving local football people has retired from the formal side of governing the game in the County.
Brian Ridgeon, from Falmouth, has stepped down as a member of Cornwall Football Association’s Council, but will still carry on as Treasurer of the Jolly’s Cornwall Combination League. Brian was made a Life Member of Cornwall FA recently.
He was elected on to Cornwall FA in 1997, having been proposed by Mawnan and Penryn Athletic.
“I have met some very good friends at the County. I've really enjoyed it, especially the representative matches,” said Brian. “To see the top players in Cornwall in the game playing for their county was fantastic. I was proud to be part of the first visit to Guernsey FA too when they joined the South and West Counties championship.”
Brian was born in Malta, the youngest of five boys, to a longstanding military family - his father was a Major in the Royal Artillery and Brian arrived in the UK as a 10 year old after also living in India and Burma. Brian has been involved with football since his teenage years when he joined his brother in Falmouth. He played for his engineering college, Flushing Under-18, Falmouth Docks (where he was an apprentice and later a marine engineer), and Falmouth Town including a spell in the mid-1950s with their first team in the then Cornwall Senior League.
After a successful playing career as a traditional full back during which he was never booked or sent off, Brian joined the Committee of the Falmouth/Helston League (now the Trelawny League) and spent 24 years as their registrations secretary. He is now a life member of the League. He is also treasurer of the Cornwall Combination League, a post he has held since 1980.
Brian says there have been improvements in football in his time,
“The organisation and administrative side has progressed by leaps and bounds. A by-product of this has been improved recruitment and distribution of referees so that practically all matches now have an appointed referee, I know from experience of having to stand in as a ref once between Penryn and Pengegon how difficult it is to do that job.”
Brian worked at Falmouth Docks until he was made redundant in 1979. He then took a job as porter at City Hospital Truro, a post he held until his retirement from work.
His wife, Sylvia, to whom he was married for 48 years, died in 2002. He has one daughter, Susan and two grandsons who live in Wiltshire. He visits them regularly but still has time to take in a variety of matches at Dracaena Avenue in Falmouth and, of course, his former team, Falmouth Town.