Football chairman awarded a BEM for services to local sport in Luton

Tony Talbot has been awarded a BEM for his services to football and the community in Luton
Tony Talbot has been awarded a BEM for his services to football and the community in Luton

The chairman of Crawley Green Sports and Social Club has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Anthony Talbot (Tony), 57, from Luton, was given the BEM for his services to sport and to the community in Luton. He has been chairman of the club for 25 years and was part of the team that formed Crawley Green FC in 1988 – the clubhouse was formally opened four years later.

The father-of-two said: “I am chuffed to bits. It is a real honour, people who know me know I’m a humble man and this award is not about me, it is about all the other volunteers who help, week in week out.

“I have been chairman for 25 years and this award is for everyone at the club.

“It is down to other members on the committee, the managers, the coaches, the trustees and so many other people that I have received this honour. It is a great club, it is a real honour to have achieved this.”

Tony was nominated for the honour by Club Secretary Malcom Bunker.

He said: “I have been writing letters of nomination for Tony since 2013 because he truly deserves it and he is hard working and dedicated to this club. It is a fantastic achievement for him and the club.

“Tony is the chairman of the club and has been since 1992 when the clubhouse opened, but he was actually involved in the formation of the club and raising the money to rebuild the building. He helped transform it from a burnt out shell into the clubhouse we have today.

“He is totally dedicated to anything the club does, from the coaches for the disabled who come here every week to the coaches who come for the four-year-olds, and he oversees everything to do with the club.

“The club takes over 400 children off the streets every weekend and he is a massive part of that and we are so proud of Tony.”

Tony wasn’t the only Luton resident to be honoured in the list, Sandra Popoola, Head of Resourcing and Capability at Department for Communities and Local Government, was awarded an OBE for services to Local Government and to charity.