The shock death of long-standing chairman Peter Cottee rocked the 57th annual general meeting and presentation evening of the NOTTS SUNDAY MORNING LEAGUE.
Teams and officials were stunned to hear that Mr Cottee, who had been chairman for 15 years, had died on the morning of the meeting, which was held at Bestwood Miners Welfare.
The event was due to be a big celebration for Hucknall teams T8’S and STATION HOTEL, who were crowned champions of the league’s top two divisions.
But after hearing the news from emotional vice-chairman Franklyn Locker, it was agreed to curtail the business of the evening.
Mr Cottee served the league for 46 years and also spent 33 years as a Notts FA council member. Said Mr Locker: “Prior to his marathon stint within grassroots football, Peter started way back as secretary of Hooley’s during their time in the Notts Sunday League.
“It was generally felt that he had successfully beaten the illness that had plagued him for some 20 months. But sadly his battle has drawn to a close.
“He was a good man and a fine friend. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, especially his good lady, Carole, friends and family.”
Although Sunday football is widely regarded to be in decline, the league reflected on one of their most successful seasons because their teams won three of the four county cups on offer.
T8’s themselves topped the bill by landing the Notts FA Sunday Senior Cup for the first time, while the intermediate version went to Wolds AFC and the junior version was won by Kirkby Town.
Despite the bad news, the presentations went ahead, with T8’s boss Reece Jackson receiving the Premier Premier Division championship trophy from Mr Locker.
Station were handed the Premier First Division trophy after a memorable, unbeaten campaign.
And their star striker, Dean Longdon, was presented with the Golden Boot award for the division after plundering 28 goals.
Other award-winners -- PREMIER PREMIER DIVISION: runners-up Nuthall, golden boot Ryan Johnson (Nuthall).
PREMIER DIVISION ONE: runners-up Wollaton Pirates.
PREMIER DIVISION TWO: champions Wolds AFC, runners-up Burton Joyce A, golden boot Aaron Large (Wolds) 23 goals.
PREMIER SECTION CUP: winners Nuthall, runners-up Wollaton Pirates.
SENIOR DIVISION ONE: champions Kirkby Town, runners-up ABP, golden boot Kieren Watson (Kirkby) 89 goals.
SENIOR DIVISION TWO: champions Burton Joyce B, runners-up Nottingham Breakdown, golden boot Michael Glover (Burton Joyce B) 19 goals.
SENIOR DIVISION THREE: champions East Bridgford Rangers, runners-up Heath Hill, golden boot Marcus Young (Bilborough Rangers) 47 goals.
SENIOR SECTION CUP: winners Kirkby Town, runners-up Birchover Park.
Awards for secretary of the year went to Andrew Gardner, of Rempstone, and Anthony Watkinson, of Eastwood and Kimberley.
Referees of the years were Danny Kelly and Brian Kilburn, while the accolades for sportsperson of the year and most sporting team were won by Alan Evans and Edwalton respectively.
A long-service award (25 years) was presented to Barrie Saunders, of Hucknall, who has served the league as management committee member and referee.
Special awards went to Kirkby Town for their remarkable 100% record of 33 wins in all matches on tgheir way to a league/league cup/county cup treble and also to their striker Kieren Watson, who fired 104 goals in those games.,