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Haverhill resident Bruce Badcock awarded FA 50-Year Award at Colchester United Football Club



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He is used to being the giver of the prestigious FA 50-Year Award but Bruce Badcock unwittingly had the tables turned on him during a county cup final at Colchester United FC.

The Haverhill resident – who made a full recovery after having suffered a heart attack while driving on the M25 – is widely regarded as one of the leading sports administrators in the region.

And the 76-year-old’s more than 50 years serving the game in a variety of roles was recognised before the Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup final between Needham Market and Leiston last month.

(From left) Suffolk FA chief executive Richard Neal, FA 50-Year Service Award recipient Bruce Badcock, Suffolk FA president David Sheepshanks CBE and Suffolk FA chair Phil Lawler at the Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Final at Colchester United FC. Picture: Suffolk FA
(From left) Suffolk FA chief executive Richard Neal, FA 50-Year Service Award recipient Bruce Badcock, Suffolk FA president David Sheepshanks CBE and Suffolk FA chair Phil Lawler at the Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Final at Colchester United FC. Picture: Suffolk FA

In his role as Suffolk FA vice chair Badcock was a member of the presentation party introduced to the teams ahead of the April 21 showpiece at the JobServe Community Stadium.

But the 76-year-old did not know that he was about to receive his own presentation of the FA Long Service Award, which was made by Suffolk FA President David Sheepshanks CBE.

Badcock said afterwards: “It is a privilege to be recognised for doing something I love, and this award is something I regard very highly.

“One of the best parts of my involvement is how many friends I have made in football over the last 50 years.”

In February 1964, Badcock was a member of the group which decided to form the Cambridge & District Sunday League. Upon formation he was appointed to the role of assistant secretary, before quickly becoming secretary until 1971.

In 1976 Badcock was elected chair of the league, a position he held until 1978, for the 1971/72 season undertaking both the chair and general secretary role.

Badcock joined Cambridgeshire FA in 1965 for three years and then re-joined in 1971. In 1977 he was appointed as referees officer, a position he held until 1985.

In 1986 he was elected life vice president of the Cambridge & District Sunday League.

In 1985 Badcock began a long-standing relationship with the Eastern Counties League, which continues to this day.

From 1985-1990 he held the position of honorary secretary for the league, simultaneously holding the post of treasurer until 2006.

A bump in the road came in 1990 when Badock and his family were required to move to Hampshire for his ‘day job’, but by 1996 he had resumed his role as secretary with the Eastern Counties League and continued for a further nine years.

He has since become a Life Member of the Eastern Counties League and continues to play an active role in league matters.

In 2005, Badcock joined the Isthmian League as their league secretary which he held until 2011. He was also treasurer from 2005-12 and Youth League secretary from 2011-13.

In September 2012 he was invited to join the Suffolk FA board as a director. He held the role of county cup competitions manager from 2013 until 2016 when he suffered a cardiac arrest whilst driving on the M25, heading for a party in Milton Keynes.

After receiving CPR on the roadside, Badcock received further life-saving care as he was airlifted to hospital. Miraculously he has made a full recovery, returning to the Suffolk FA board and becoming the county’s representative on the FA Council in 2014.

He contributed to committees including the National Game Finance Committee and League Committee before his tenure was bought to an end in 2021 due to reaching the age limit.

Badcock continues as a county discipline secretary, Suffolk FA Council representative for Steps 3 & 4, and Suffolk FA director.