FRANK Beaumont has just chalked up a remarkable 50 years as a soccer administrator.
And he shows no sign of giving up just yet.
He started the new football season by going to watch a local soccer match – or rather four of them – in one night at the age of 78.
The opening of the 2011/12 Huddersfield District League season saw him stop off at four matches just to see how today’s young soccer players are doing.
It’s that dedication that led to Mr Beaumont, from Wooldale in Holmfirth, being honoured by the FA and by local soccer officials and players two days later.
He was the centre of attention when he received gifts to mark his astonishing half century behind the scenes.
Frank said: “I started when my wife Anne’s father, the late Alf Richardson, wanted someone to help him in his role as District League secretary.
“I had been doing odd jobs behind the scenes and took up the challenge. That was at a time when people were keen to volunteer. Now if we need a new official, it’s hard to find one.
“I still love the game and I still want to be involved.
“I look forward to Saturday afternoons and the local matches. The style has changed – I played in the days when we had five forwards – but I don’t think the quality has altered much.
“I think Huddersfield football is thriving. You only need to look at the number of Huddersfield teams in the West Riding league to see how strong the game is in this town.
“And when you examine the astonishing success of the RCD Junior Sunday League, it’s wonderful to see how smoothly such an enormous organisation is run.”
Mr Beaumont began his own soccer career at the age of 12, playing for Dalton St Pauls in the old Sunday Schools League.
He recalls playing at centre forward in the Heaton Shield final at Berry Brow in 1946.
In 1950 he was signed up by Hull City’s Raich Carter to play for their Intermediate side but that ended in 1951 when National Service saw him join the RAF.
He managed to get leave, however, to play for his works team, L B Hollidays, in the Hoyle Cup final, only to lose to YMCA.
On demob, Frank joined Bradley Rangers and enjoyed 13 great seasons with that club before ending his playing career.
One of the things that has pleased him in recent years was his close involvement in the campaign to attract more referees to the local game which saw numbers rise for the first time in years.
He joined the Huddersfield FA council in 1961 and served the body in a variety of roles, including chairman, before becoming president in 2000. He has also been secretary, chairman and president of the District League.