Dedicated Bob honoured for his Downs role
LONG-SERVING Bob Sampson was presented with a Bristol Blue Glass award when he retired as chairman during the AGM of the Downs League at Bristol Manor Farm.
He is a life member of the league, having started as a player with West Town, and is succeeded by former Torpedo defender Bill Arthur.
Old Elizabethians and Cosmos UK were elected to Division Four to fill vacancies caused by the resignations of Cabot Asset Finance and Stoke Bishop last season.
Registration secretary Mark Stiddard was presented with the Dave Hynam Trophy for services to the league and Martyn Lee received the Henry Newman Trophy as the top referee for the second time.
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The Ted Marsh Memorial Trophy went to Clifton St Vincents A and Torpedo took the award for the team with the highest goal difference.
Former Football League official Bill Bombroff was appointed to the new post as referees' advisor, Peter Cook became assistant fixtures secretary, general secretary Owen Dow was elected a vice-president and Mervyn Baker continues as the league's public relation officer.
There was an unexpected treat in store at the end of the season for Avon League President Lyn Hughes, who continued as secretary of Wessex Wanderers despite being seriously ill for several months in mid-winter.
Unknown to her, Wessex manager Shaun Hawkings helped to organise fund-raising events with players at the Luckwell Club to pay for a holiday in New York for Mrs Hughes and her husband Ray as a reward for her dedication to duty.
"I have always wanted to go to New York but this was a wonderful surprise and I am grateful to everyone concerned," said the elated Mrs Hughes, who has won secretarial awards for efficiency in both the Suburban and Avon leagues over recent years.