Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer: 75 Years Service To Grassroots Football

Well known Silsden gentleman Herbert Spencer has completed 75 years’ service to Grassroots Football within the Craven area. This achievement has been recognised with a presentation of a certificate to commemorate this wonderful accomplishment.

Herbert was presented with the Football Association Long Service Award in 1995 for 50 years’ service to the game by the then Chairman, Colin Taylor of the West Riding County FA.

Herbert was instrumental at the end of World War 2 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 the then Referees retiring age of 47.

Herbert has held various official capacities in the Football fraternity over the 75 years. 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 provided 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, working 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 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 to enjoy the beautiful game.

Peter Marsden, President of the Craven FA and Life Vice President of the West Riding County FA acknowledged the tremendous role that Herbert has played in local football, especially in the recruiting of Referees and his support of Referees.

Peter was first introduced to Herbert in the 1970s as a newly qualified Referee and was grateful for the constructive advice that Herbert gave to him, as a result they became firm friends and long serving members of the Craven Football Association.

Herbert was a stalwart worker for the Referees Society, involved with 5 a side competitions and always there to give advice and encouragement to any Referee.

He was a highly respected Referee in the West Riding area; often arriving home in the early evening from his lengthy travels, having to rely on public transport to get to his assigned game.

He is a man who gives 100% effort in all he does for football.