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Silsden official Mike Breeze blown away by royal invitation to Buckingham Palace
Silsden award-winning junior football official Mike Breeze says he is “staggered” and “amazed” to be invited to Buckingham Palace.
Breeze, who retired this summer after 21 years as secretary of the Craven, Aire & Wharfe Junior League, has been selected to help celebrate the Football Assoc-iation’s 150th anniversary.
He is among 150 volunteers who will receive commemmorative medals from FA president the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace on Monday, October 7.
Breeze said: “This honour has come totally out of the blue and I am quite staggered by it when you think of all the people who have been involved in football. It is quite amazing.”
The 72-year-old, who has been nominated by the West Riding County FA, and the other 149 volunteers, will be presented with their medals by Prince William before a specially-arranged match on the palace lawn.
The game will be between Civil Service FC – the world’s oldest Association Football Club formed in 1863 – and their local rivals Polytechnic FC (formed in 1875).
The Duke said: “In our 150th year, it is hugely important for the FA to honour the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who, week in, week out, help to provide the opportunity for millions more people to enjoy football at grass-roots level.
“Inviting 150 of these volunteers to Buckingham Palace provides a fitting way for the FA to pay tribite and give thanks.”
Breeze has also won the West Riding County FA and North East Region awards for “outstanding contribution to community football” but missed out on the national award when he was invited to the FA Community Shield match at Wembley last month. He said: “It is 50 years since I became involved in youth football via school.”
Since then he has run youth teams in Kent (1971) and Keighley (1975), also qualified as a referee in 1975, and took over as Craven, Aire & Wharfe Junior League secretary in 1992, having been chairman the year before.
He retired from teaching in 2003.
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