A STALWART of grassroots football has been rewarded with a certificate to commemorate 75 years’ service to the beautiful game played on many a hallowed turf around Craven.

Herbert Spencer, from Silsden, is no stranger to receiving awards.

He was presented with the Football Association’s Long Service Award in 1995 for 50 years’ service to the game by the chairman at that time, Colin Taylor, of the West Riding County FA.

Herbert was instrumental at the end of World War Two in setting up Silsden Juniors as a 14-year-old.

However, after several years’ playing he suffered an injury that curtailed his playing days and it was at this time he became a referee, officiating throughout the West Riding until retiring at the age of 47.

Herbert has held various official capacities in the football fraternity.

He was chairman of the Craven Referees Society and 45 years ago he was invited to join the executive committee of the Craven District Football Association, of which he was chairman for 15 years and formed a formidable team with his close friend the late Allan Cawood, who was secretary during this time.

Always interested in junior football, he was a founder member of the Craven Junior League and when they amalgamated with the Wharfedale, Bradford and Keighley areas, Herbert became Chairman of the present Craven, Aire, Wharfe Junior League.

Here he worked alongside another close friend, Mike Breeze, who was until just recently secretary of the Junior League.

Herbert, who is highly respected in local footballing circles across the district and into Wharfedale, can certainly be classed as a stalwart of Grassroots Football, devoting hours of his leisure time to enable footballers throughout the area, both adult and junior.