Long serving David Webb praised as he steps down from main secretary duties at AFC Sudbury
After 34 years of dedication to keeping semi-professional football running smoothly in Sudbury, David Webb is handing over the day-to-day AFC Sudbury secretary duties.
One of the most recognisable figures in the area’s non-league scene is not about to put his pen and clipboard down at grounds just yet though, as he intends to carry on his match day responsibilities.
The 79-year-old – who lives in the town and began his volunteering journey as a gate man at Sudbury Town, progressing to be secretary for 13 years before the amalgamation with Wanderers to form AFC Sudbury – said: “I had already thought about it (stepping down) and spoke to one of the directors, Richard Instance, about it.
“I said I would do this coming season to give them enough advance warning then Richard came back and said how about if Julie (Ankers, academy secretary) starts to take over?
“I am quite happy to keep doing the match day thing with the team sheets in boardroom, which the chairman wanted me to do, as I did not want to leave completely.
“I am still signing the registration forms as Julie is up in Lancashire and the Isthmian League will not accept digital signatures.
“It was the technological stuff that gets me now though, all these Zoom meetings and things.
“I am ok with the computer until something goes wrong. The main thing is I do not want to make one or two mistakes and get them into any sort of trouble.
“I am coming up to 80 next year and I think there comes a time when you have to start thinking about what is best for you.”
Known as ‘Webby’ to many, he estimates he has spent ‘about 20 hours a week’ carrying out duties for the club. But it has certainly been a labour of love.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said. “The hunt of chasing players about and keeping an eye on different things; it keeps your mind active.
“When someone at another club is suspended you make sure he is not playing against you.
“I am not resigning from the club, it is just the fact the technology has caught up with me.
“If it starts to worry you, you need to think someone else should be doing it.”
Although his match day activities will continue, Webb says he has a lot of fond memories from his 34 years as a full secretary for both Town and AFC (21).
“I did the turnstiles for three years after chairman Ben Ashdale said he had noticed me at different games and wanted me to help out,” he said.
“By 1986 Laurie Baldry said he had had enough of being secretary and said he thought I could do the job. I said hang on I have a family and don’t think I have time to do it, but he insisted I could.
“Weeks later I was walking out at Wembley in the FA Vase final in front of a competition-record crowd against Tamworth!
“I do not think many football secretaries have been to four FA Vase finals and lost the lot!”
AFC Sudbury chairman Andrew Long said: “Football in Sudbury has been both honoured and fortunate to have had David’s involvement for such a long period.
“We at AFC Sudbury are truly appreciative of all that he is done for our club. But above all for the manner in which it was done.
“We are delighted that David has agreed to continue as match day secretary; games would simply not be the same without him.”
* AFC Gold week 10: £100 (154) C Totman, Hillside Rd, Sudbury; £10 (161) Mrs A Bolitho, Greys Close, Cavendish; £10 (268) L Childs, Newmans Rd, Sudbury.
More by this authorRussell Claydon
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