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Suffolk FA Honorary Life Member Peter Vardon, from Hadleigh, dies aged 86

Suffolk FA Honorary Life Member Peter Vardon has died at the age of 86.

Peter, who lived in Hadleigh, was a former county chair and a long-serving Suffolk FA Council Member.

He had recently been diagnosed with dementia and had been living at Waterfield House care home in Hadleigh since July last year, where he passed away peacefully surrounded by his family early on Thursday.

Peter Vardon with the FA 50-Year Service Award which he received in 2018. Picture: Suffolk FA
Peter Vardon with the FA 50-Year Service Award which he received in 2018. Picture: Suffolk FA

Peter, who was born in Birmingham, had been involved in football in Suffolk since 1954 after moving to the county.

He joined his local club Bildeston Rangers after leaving school at the age of 16 and he continued to play beyond his 39th birthday.

He then refereed in the Ipswich & District League, which later became the Suffolk & Ipswich League.

By then he had moved to Hadleigh and was frequently asked to officiate Hadleigh United’s matches - this led to the club asking him to become their fixture secretary.

He joined the SIL committee and became Hadleigh United club chairman as well as the club’s representative on the Suffolk FA Council.

He served on various committees, in particular the disciplinary committee, and became chairman of the West Suffolk Disciplinary Committee. In 1993, he became county chairman.

Peter was presented with an FA 50-Year Service Award at the Suffolk FA annual general meeting in July 2018.

He leaves a wife, Pam, with whom he had five daughters, Hilly, Vivien, Nicky, Kati (Fred) and Peta, along with nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, March 20 at 11.45am at Ipswich Cemetery.

Phil Lawler, Suffolk FA Chair, said: “I was so sorry to hear of the passing of our colleague, Life Member and former Chair of Suffolk FA.

“Peter gave a life of service to grassroots football in the county in a number of roles within the local game. Peter was a committed member of council who always contributed to the debate on issues of the day.

“He will be missed by so many in our local game. Our thoughts are with Peter’s family at this difficult time.”

Richard Neal, Suffolk FA Chief Executive, added: “Suffolk football has lost another titan of the local game.

“We will be asking County Cup matches being played up to Sunday, March 17 to hold a minute’s silence in remembrance.”