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Belvedere football official recognised for dedication
12:54pm Wednesday 20th June 2012 in Sport
AN OFFICIAL from Belvedere FC has been presented with a long and meritorious service award by Kent FA for his dedication to football in the county stretching back 43 years.
Ray Sampson-Chambers has done it all during this time, from sweeping the dressing rooms, marking out pitches, washing kits, recruiting players and arranging fixtures.
He has kept Belvedere FC running and turned it into the successful club it is today.
Sampson-Chambers started his football career as an U11 for a junior club called West Heath United in Bostall Heath.
They went on to form a relationship with the senior team at Erith Technical College Association and in 1971 the clubs amalgamated to become Belvedere FC.
Sampson-Chambers played for a variety of teams and was still playing for Belvedere’s Sunday veteran’s team right up until the 1990s.
From a young age he became part of the voluntary force at Belvedere and in his late teens was a committee member.
He also found time to take up team management with spells in charge at Phoenix and Old Bexlians.
As his elders began to retire, Sampson-Chambers found it was down to him to prepare the pitches every year, a duty which he has continued to carry out to this day.
As club and fixtures secretary, and later chairman, Sampson-Chambers has overseen a huge increase in sponsorship at Belvedere FC, as well as a vast improvement in the playing surface.
He has managed to introduce youth teams as well as gaining and maintaining the charter standard award.
“It’s a great honour to receive this award from Kent FA,” said Sampson-Chambers.
“You don’t set out to be recognised, these 43 years have been about my love of football.
“But I accept this award as a tribute to Belvedere FC.”
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