ONE of Cornwall’s longest serving administrators has seen his involvement in football recognised by the Football Association.

At the LWC Drinks Cornwall Combination League meting last Thursday, Cornwall FA’s Steve Carpenter presented John Roberts, who lives in Helston, with the FA’s gold medal, the CCFA’s commemorative plaque, and a framed certificate for 50 years’ service to football on behalf of the FA and the Cornwall FA.

John’s love of football began way back in 1960 when as a 14 year old he played for his village side at Mawnan, but his playing career took him to Constantine before moving on to play at Ruan Minor.

In 1971 John decided the time was right to hang up his boots and concentrate on refereeing and duly became a qualified referee whilst in the same year joined the committee of the Falmouth-Helston League and eventually became its chairman in 1977.

Falmouth Packet: John Roberts (right) receives his 50-year gold medal award from the CCFA’s Steve CarpenterJohn Roberts (right) receives his 50-year gold medal award from the CCFA’s Steve Carpenter

He continued refereeing for several seasons and was a regular member of the Falmouth-Helston branch of referees who took part in county and south west region 11-a-side and five-a-side tournaments.

His refereeing career came to an end in 1982, but over the years John has managed to occupy a variety of roles and he continued his involvement in football by being elected football secretary and the club’s assistant referee for Helston Athletic AFC until 1990.

It was then in 1991 that John made the big switch into becoming the fixture and registration secretary of the Jolly’s Combination League, a role he still performs today.

Mark Bullingham, the FA’s chief executive officer, in a congratulatory letter, said: "No undertaking has been too small to warrant your attention and you are valued more than you know.

"We at the Football Association would like to record our appreciation of your wonderful efforts on behalf of football and to offer our congratulations on your achievements."