Ex-Hadleigh and Melford boss handed service award

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John Campany said he was ‘greatly honoured’ after being the latest recipient of an FA 50-year service award.

The former Hadleigh United and Long Melford manager was presented with his medal, lapel badge and letter from The FA by Suffolk FA director Bruce Badcock at the county’s headquarters in Stowmarket.

The 74-year-old has enjoyed a varied career in football, as a player, secretary, manager and match reporter.

He said: “As far as I am concerned this award represents the dozens of volunteers up and down the country.

“I am greatly honoured as there are a lot of people just like me who don’t get this recognition.

“If it was not for Bruce (Badcock) I would not have been recognised, so I am lucky to be given this award.”

Campany’s involvement with the beautiful game began when he played for Ockenden United Under-18s as a 16-year-old in the 1958/59 season.

Campany, who was born in Coggeshall, Essex, worked in London in the insurance industry for Price Forbes and played for the company’s work side, Seborf FC, from 1961-64.

He then worked for Willis Faber & Dumas, for whom he played in the London Insurance Offices Football Division One under the name of Cornhill FC from 1964-74 and was elected to the LIOFA Council in 1969.

Campany became both secretary (1967-73) and player-manager (1966-73) before moving to the company’s offices in Ipswich, where he still lives.

He succeeded Dickie Rooks, who took up a similar post at Scunthorpe United, as manager of Hadleigh United but was replaced after just one season following a mid-table finish.

Willis Faber were only playing Sunday friendly matches but Campany was instrumental in the negotiation with the Ipswich & District League (now the Touchline SIL) to join the competition.

They were elected to the league in 1976 and he was manager for the next six seasons, also joining the IDL Management Committee the following year for seven seasons.

After becoming a qualified FA coach in 1979, Campany left Willis and had spells managing Achilles and then Ipswich Exiles between 1982-93.

Campany, who also managed the league’s Junior Representative side for three seasons versus the Bury League, then got involved with Long Melford, where one of his sons was playing in the youth side.

He took over as secretary of the Essex & Suffolk Border League side before becoming manager, as well as producing a 16-page programme on his own computer.

Campany headed up the working party to improve the ground for promotion to the First Division of the Eastern Counties League in 2003, before resigning from the club.

He also had spells as vice chairman of the Border League and SIL and remains on the committee of the latter.

Campany, who is married with three sons, took up writing reports on non-league games across the region.