NINE stalwarts of Craven football have been honoured by the Football Association for their services.

The FA 50 Year Long Service Award is in recognition of their contribution to the grassroots game in the district.

Unfortunately, a formal presentation could not be held due to the present Covid restrictions so the award was sent direct to the recipients who were as follows:

Colin Beck

A playing member of Skipton Bulldogs prior to refereeing in the Craven League for 26 years, Bell was part of the league’s management committee for 12 years.

He joined the Craven District FA in 1991 becoming chairman five years later until 2005. Beck is also a life member of the association.

Alan Knox

Knox has served Crosshills FC since 1967. The Glaswegian was secretary at the club for 23 years, taking up the role of groundsman for the large majority of that time before retiring in 2017.

David Fryer

After retiring from Cowling FC duty in 1980, Fryer then took up the whistle for 32 years covering the Craven and Harrogate leagues. He joined the Craven District FA as a committee member in 2004.

Bill Simpson

Having joined the Craven League management committee in 1970, Simpson almost immediately took on the job of treasurer, a position he still holds today. He has also given long service as a referee to both the Craven and Harrogate leagues.

Paul Smith

Spanning over four decades, Smith had a remarkable amateur career with Crosshills.

Apart from a short spell in the 1970s playing for Barnoldswick Park Rovers and Silsden, he spent most of his time at the Craven club from the age of 14 to 46. He has been a committee member for 35 years and is the present secretary.

David Spencer

Beginning playing the game in Bradford, Spencer made the short trip to Bradley FC in 1976 and never looked back. He retired in 1994 but has been a committee man since 1980 and became secretary in 1982, still retaining that role now.

David Suter

The former goalkeeper is a Skipton Town legend, playing for the club from 1967 to 2005. Suter joined the committee in 1978 and has been the groundsman for the last 13 years.

David Town

After starring for Lothersdale and Cononley, Town took up refereeing in 1978, officiating in the Craven and West Riding leagues up until his retirement in 2005.

He joined the Craven District FA in 1991 and became secretary in 2002, a position he still holds. He also served on the West Riding County FA as the Craven Representative.

Eric Whiteley

Spells at Lothersdale, Crosshills and Embsay all occurred in Whiteley’s 22-year career. A move into officiating lasted 17 years. He joined the Craven League management committee in 1983.