Paul honoured for over 25 years of service at Leighton Buzzard's Woodside FC

'When you think of the positive impact he has had over the years it's amazing'

Monday, 20th September 2021, 11:45 am

Leighton Buzzard' s Woodside FC have honoured a loyal club member who has dedicated over 25 years of service to the team.

Paul Sullivan first joined the football squad in 1995 when his son started with the group, helping to coach 'the Colts' (four-to-six-year-olds) from day one.

He then became Woodside's club secretary in 2000 - a post he has held ever since - along with becoming club welfare officer and permanent Colts coach/manager in subsequent years.

Paul (left) and Richard at the club's ceremony.

Paul, 61, who lives in Leighton Buzzard, told the LBO: "After my son finished at U18 I took over a friend and fellow manager’s team at U13, playing in Division 3. The following two seasons, the team won a promotion to Division 2, then Division 1 at U16.

"Many of the players in that team started in our Colts section at five-years-old. Coaching and managing this team proved to be my most successful managers role."

He added: "My most important and therefore enjoyable role is being the coach and manager of the Colts section, where all our players come through, from ages four to six, where their skills and understanding of team play is developed, in readiness for their footballing future in their first team at U7."

This summer, Paul received a commendation from chairman Richard Paterson at the club's annual award ceremony.

The grassroots club is the oldest in town - established in 1974 - and honoured Paul with a 'Service to Sport' award.

Richard said: "Paul's commitment to this club and indeed football is extraordinary. When you think of the positive impact he has had over the years it's amazing. This recognition is richly deserved - thank you Paul."

Paul concluded: "It is great to watch matches across all our age groups, from U7 to U17 and now our adults team. I watch and see players in all these teams who started out in the Colts many years before.

"To me and the club this is the most satisfying result of all the hard work that is put in by all the volunteers at the club – watching players develop over the years and spending their entire youth playing years in the club.

"It shows we get it right for the right reason – 'it is all about the players'".

Readers may also recognise Paul because he spent 15 years as a swimming teacher and coach for the Crusaders.

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