Farewell to stalwart of youth football

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ONE of the most respected volunteers in youth football throughout Nottinghamshire, as well as Hucknall, has retired after a stint of wonderful service.

Marilyn Wheat, or Mal as she likes to be called, has stepped down after 34 years with the Hucknall Sports club, including the last 17 as treasurer.

Mal, who lives in Hucknall, has supported various aspects of Sports since the club were formed in 1977. Alongside her husband, Bob, she has seen the club grow from humble beginnings to its current status of no fewer than 21 teams.

Chairman Alan Spray said: “We are very fortunate to have had such a committed individual as Mal, who has been very professional in all that she has undertaken.

“I don’t think any youth club in the country could have had a better treasurer than Mal because she has been totally dedicated in her role.

“She has acted in an honest and professional manner, always putting the needs of the club first. We wish her well in her retirement.”

A surprise party was held at the John Godber Centre on Ogle Street in Hucknall where guests included representatives from Notts FA and the Young Elizabethan League (YEL).

Elaine Oram, the chief executive of Notts FA, presented Mal with several gifts, including an FA long-service award. She commented: “Thirty-four years with Hucknall Sports is truly an outstanding commitment to the youth of Hucknall.”

Sharon Watson, treasurer of the YEL, thanked Mal for “her outstanding work” and presented her with theatre tickets and a bouquet.

Friends and colleagues at Hucknall Sports, together with everyone who has been associated with Mal over the years, also contributed to a collection and presented her with a cheque for a weekend break of her choice.

Husband Bob, who is vice-president, continues to take an active involvement in the day-to-day running of Hucknall Sports.

The Wheats’ two sons, Andy and Phil, both grew up to be sporting enthusiasts and were talented cricketers for Rolls-Royce Leisure.

OUR PHOTO shows Mal (left) receiving a bouquet from Sharon Watson.