Sutton Coldfield Town’s long-serving secretary Bill Worship breathed a bigger sigh of relief than your average fan on the final day of the 2016-17 EVO-STIK Northern Premier League season.
Due to stand down after half a century of involvement with the EVO-STIK NPL Premier Division club after Saturday’s final fixture at Workington, the super stalwart endured weeks of nail-biting before seeing his beloved Royals collect the precious point they needed from a 0-0 draw with a backs-to-the-wall performance at the play-off chasers’ Borough Park to climb out of the drop zone and condemn Corby Town to their second successive relegation.
The popular figure isn’t leaving the club altogether, just standing down from his official roles to take a well earned break after 50 years of devotion to the cause. The administrator, who’s also been a member of the Sutton Coldfield Referee’s Association for the last five decades, treasurer for 21 and is now its president, has promised to “still be helping out when I can”.
He’ll be missed, not least as the man behind the tannoy system on matchdays. A director and vice president, the official, pictured, joined the club back in 1964, the committee not long afterwards and within months was already doing odd jobs before becoming groundsman when not working on the railways, his other calling in life for 40 years before retiring in 1997.
Unsurprisingly considering his record up that point, within a year he was club treasurer, a role he undertook for seven years before enjoying a “break” to work on the pitch for a few years and subsequently spending the last decade in his current role as football secretary until the weekend.
In a statement on their website thanking him for his many years of service, the Royals paid tribute to their outgoing secretary who finishes on a high after helping to steer the club through one of the most difficult seasons in their recent history and has promised to help ‘train up’ his successor.
The club said: “While everyone at Sutton was enjoying the fact that we had avoided relegation in the last game of the season, it was also the final game for Bill in his role as football secretary for the club.
“Bill has done a fantastic job for the club over the years in a behind the scenes but vitally important role. His final season in the job was probably one of his most testing with almost 60 games played and over 80 players requiring registration, including several needing international clearance, as well as all the usual work associated with the role such as match arrangements and handling communications from the FA.
“Thankfully, Bill will continue in his role as a director of the club and will still be a regular visitor to Coles Lane so will be on hand for any help and advice needed by his successor. Well done and thank you Bill for a job well done.”