Football volunteers honoured for long-time service by Auckland Football

Tom Street from Eastern Suburbs Football Club receives a long service award from the Auckland Football Federation.
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Tom Street from Eastern Suburbs Football Club receives a long service award from the Auckland Football Federation.

Long-time football volunteers were recognised by the Auckland Football Federation at a service awards evening on Friday.

The organisation's annual awards recognised 10 volunteers  with long service awards for their contribution and commitment to their respective football clubs and the game itself.

Eastern Suburbs' Tom Street, and Metro FC's Anthony Owens were two of the names honoured by Auckland Football.

Ants Owens, right, from Metro FC receives a long service award from the Auckland Football Federation's John McLeod.
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Ants Owens, right, from Metro FC receives a long service award from the Auckland Football Federation's John McLeod.

Street, who has been a prominent name at Suburbs for 21 years and has been club chairman and president, said to receive the award was both flattering and embarrassing.

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"It's nice that somebody notices," Street said.

"Not that you do it for that reason, you do it because you enjoy doing it.

"But it's also embarrassing because I'm not unique. I'm not particularly special, there's plenty of people both at Eastern Suburbs and all the other clubs putting in an awful lot of effort and these clubs wouldn't exist if they didn't."

Chris Ruffell, Eastern Suburbs' chairman, said the club was thrilled that Street was receiving the prestigious award after years of service.

"Having someone with Tom's background would be a significant addition to any organisation," Ruffell said.

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"His warm friendly personality are enjoyed by all, and it is appropriate that one of the genuinely nice guys of Auckland Football should be recognised for all his hard work and success."

For Metro, Anthony Owens has been a key volunteer, with club chair Raychel Pierson saying without him, they wouldn't survive.

"He really is part of the fabric of our club," she said.

"Without people like Ants, a club like ours wouldn't continue - he's a vital part of it."

Auckland Football Federation's chief executive Bill MacGowan said the organisation had handed out over 77 long service awards since 2008, to a diverse array of volunteers including coaches, referees, and administrators.

"Football relies on the commitment of time of the people within its community and this award is a small recognition by Auckland Football Federation that we value their contribution," MacGowan said.

 - Stuff.co.nz

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