PETER Marsden, who has been holding the reins as secretary of the Craven & District Football League for 30 years, has served his apprenticeship as a football administrator. The West Riding County FA Council this week elected the 67-year-old Skipton man from Cumberland Street as chairman of the council in succession to retiring chairman Gerry Pawson,(writes Tony Simpson).

Mr Mardsen, who is currently chairman of the Referees Committee and now becomes chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association, has been a council member since 1978. He was elected to the council as representative for the Craven & District FA, becoming a vice-president in 1993, and continued to represent Craven District until becoming a Life vice-president of the Association in 1999.

In addition to his duties with the County FA, he has been involved for 42 years with the Craven & District League Management Committee, the last 30 of which as league secretary.

In his inaugural address to the council, he praised the work done by the outgoing chairman before stating how extremely proud and honoured he was to be elected.

"Peter's election is a well- deserved honour which reflects both on a dedicated servant of the game in general and the Craven League in particular," said Craven League chairman Gerry Aldersley. "It's also an honour for the Craven League to have one of our people elected to such an important position in the game."

"When I was sounded out about the possibility of taking the job just after Christmas, I knew that I would have to stand down as secretary of the Craven League," says Marsden. "It would be impossible to do two jobs, even though my heart has always been in the league.

"I'll have to spend more time at the county head-quarters in Woodlesford. As an ex-officio member of all the sub committees, I'm allowed to sit in on them, and while I'm not expected to attend every meeting, I need to keep my finger on the pulse and listen to the debates and reports. It's important for me to keep abreast of developments on all fronts.