Ilford’s Alder receives 50-year service award from FA
PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 June 2020
Ilford’s Terry Alder is one of four dedicated Essex volunteers to have been named as local recipients of the FA’s 50-year award for decades of selfless dedication to grassroots football.
To be eligible for The FA’s ‘Order of Merit’ Award, a nominated individual must have completed 50 years as a volunteer, inclusive of their playing career but excluding any football played at school.
David Barley, Jim Quilter and Maurice Carter received the award alongside Alder, whose story started in season 1961/62 when he turned out for Claybury Hospital in the Ilford & District League, playing for them for two years.
His journey then took a surprisingly different direction in 1965 when he mistakenly turned-up and played for the wrong club without realising it! It was a mistake which changed not only his fortunes, but that of Melbourne Sports!
He is still with them, undertaking the role of secretary of a club who have existed for almost 70 years. Terry’s association with Melbourne Sports spans from 1965 to the present day – 47 years as the Secretary and 25 as a player. Terry was described as a good park player, always turning out with his team, even if it was a Reserve Team game, always giving 100 per cent.
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Alder took up the whistle as a match official between 1961 and 1965 and was good enough to be appointed as an Assistant Referee in a final for the Ilford & District League.
Between seasons 1983 to 1993, Terry was also manager of a youth team from the eights to 18s age groups at Collier Row YFC who played in Barking and Echo Youth Leagues.
He was recognised for his knowledge of the grassroots game by joining the Management Committee of the Ilford & District League, as Secretary and then as Vice-Chairman, between 1994 and 2014.
The competition amalgamated with the Essex Business Houses League to form the Essex Alliance League at the end of 2013/14 due to a reduction in participating clubs.
The new league nominated him as their first Chairman, a role he still holds to this day. Under his and the committee’s guidance, they have grown in strength, with 52 clubs registered for 2019/20.
Alder is known as a true football man who is loyal to his team, also working as a volunteer for his league.
*To find out more about volunteering within grassroots Essex football, visit www.essexfa.com, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
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