They often say that there is no loyalty in football anymore, but Porthleven secretary Vidal James is certainly the exception to the rule.

Vidal, 80, was recognised by the club for an incredible 65 years service at their recent end-of-season presentation evening.

He said: “I’m very very proud, I’m quite chuffed with that. I had my FA award for 50 years about 15 years ago, then to get that was something a little bit special.”

When asked about what keeps him motivated, his answer was simple.

“Porthleven,” he said. “That’s all it is, Porthleven. I’ve come from there, I’ve been involved with it since I was 15 and it’s just my club.”

“I’ve been there through the highs, I’ve been there through the lows. When it’s low it’s easy to walk away, but you’ve just got to dig in there.”

Falmouth Packet:

Porthleven chairman Deryk Heywood (left) presents secretary Vidal James (right) with his 65-year service award.

Vidal has overseen promotions, relegations, and even an FA Vase quarter-final during his illustrious spell with the Fishermen, which has seen him work alongside the great and the good of Porthleven AFC down the years.

That list includes Norman Ashe, Charlie Legg and Martin Gritton, as well as current boss Alan Carey.

Vidal played for the club on and off from the age of 15 with his first-team debut coming against Falmouth, before hanging up his boots at 39 years old, with his last match coming against Liskeard in the old South Western League.

"When I first started I used to come home from Plymouth," he said. "I was an apprentice in a dockyard and I used to go home from Plymouth to play for the reserves, sending you out at Mawnan and changing in a hedge, but all I wanted to do was come home and put a Porthleven shirt on.

“It’s a big club, yeah it’s had a few downers over the last few years but they’re gradually coming back and Derek [Heywood, the chairman] is helping to pull that back, and they’re getting back to where they should be.”

He has won almost every local trophy available, with his personal collection boasting the Senior Cup, Combination League and Evely Cup, as well as many more down the years.

Falmouth Packet:

The crystal vase presented to Vidal, in recognition of his 65 years of service to Porthleven AFC.

Since ending his playing career, Vidal has taken on countless roles at the club during his time at Gala Parc, which include: manager, linesman, first aid man, secretary and vice-chairman.

His role is not quite as all-encompassing these days, but he is still committed to his first team duties.

“I’m not on the committee," he said. "I just do the first team, their teamsheets, their signings, and that’s enough to keep me happy.”

“But a few people don’t realise what’s involved with it. You’ve got to sort out the referees, sort out their colours, you’ve got to sort out their expenses at the end of the game, then you’ve got to ring the result in right after the game, then on Sunday night you’ve got to put a match report in for the league.

"A lot of people think you just turn up Saturday afternoon, put a teamsheet in and that’s end of story, and it isn’t.”

The secret to Vidal’s longevity is, according to the man himself, down to one key quality: respect.

He said: “I’ve met some lovely people over the years at different clubs, and I think I’m quite respected at most clubs, because I’m straight, I’m honest and I get on with most people.

“Deryk the chairman is fairly new in, and he said 'oh they know you', well I’ve been around the circuit too many times Deryk, everybody bloody knows who I am now!”

“You’ve got to respect people, and that’s the main thing. I never hold any grudges.

“I can fall out with somebody, and I have done in the football world, and half an hour or a day later let’s forget all about it. Life’s too short.

“But the main thing is to respect people, that’s certainly my motto and it’s stuck by me.”