Stuart Ainley awarded Derbyshire FA Life Membership
Derbyshire FA are delighted to announce that Long-serving council member Stuart Ainley has been awarded a Life Membership of the DCFA.
Stuart Ainley has been commended for his incredible service to football in Derbyshire. Mr. Ainley became a member of the Referees Association in 1973. He joined the Derbyshire FA Council in 1988 as a Referees Training Board Member, then becoming a Council Member in 1991 until present day. In 2013, he was commended with a 40 Year Service Award and now, in 2022, becomes a Life Member. Mr. Ainley has supported the development of football in Derbyshire for decades, including as a League Administrator in the following positions: A Referees Secretary to Central Midlands League and Repton Schools and an Assistant Referees Secretary for Midlands Youth League, Redmayne’s Midlands Sunday League and Derby Schools. He also worked as the Matchday Referees Liaison Officer at Derby County Football League for ten years.
Stuart Ainley said this upon receiving the Life Membership, “It’s a great honour to receive the Derbyshire FA Life Membership Award, and it’s something I didn’t anticipate whatsoever. It came as a surprise, but I’m very grateful. I’ve loved football ever since I was young. I got into refereeing early, and just went from there, so I’m proud of the journey.”
Speaking about how football in Derbyshire has changed during his time as a Council Member, Mr. Ainley said, “There’s been tremendous growth and much improved support procedures in our county. There’s now plenty of support for coaches, referees, players, and much better safeguarding measures. I think over the recent years, the advancement in the access to the game and development opportunities has been great to see, and definitely helped by new technology. Disciplinary procedures are way faster than before, with the help of the internet rather than having to post everything! It’s also been great to see the development of certain types of football, such as Walking Football. Seeing certain clubs grow, like Mickleover for example, has been fantastic too.”
Looking back at his achievements and service, Mr. Ainley added, “I’m so happy that I got to reach the levels I did, and accomplished things I never thought I’d achieve. From being a referee from a young age, to then putting back into the game I love, and helping the future generations enjoy it the way I did!”
From all at Derbyshire FA, congratulations Stuart and well deserved!