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Soccer stalwart honoured by KCFA

CONGRATULATIONS: Ron Kite, left, receives his award from Colin Boswell
CONGRATULATIONS: Ron Kite, left, receives his award from Colin Boswell

RON KITE, one of the Sheppey's best known football stalwarts, has been honoured with the Kent County FA's distinguished long and meritorious service award.

He received the accolade for 40 years' service to Kent football at the annual meeting in Tunbridge Wells.

Mr Kite, who lives at Summerville Avenue, Minster, newar Sheerness, has been involved in Island football for 55 years as a player, referee, Sheppey United director, referee coach and referees' mentor.

In that time he has earned the respect of Sheppey’s footballing community. Kent Referees Officer John Newson described him as the "backbone" of the Sheppey branch of the KRA.

Mr Kite played football for Sheerness Secondary Modern School for Boys when he was 13 and represented Swale Boys' team. He played for Sheerness East in the Sheppey League.

When East joined the New Brompton League in the 60s, he played for them for many years and when Sunday football started in 1960, he turned out for Canning Town Glass Work in the Sheppey Sunday League.

He retired from playing in 1974 and took up refereeing, officiating in the Canterbury and Sheppey Sunday Leagues.

In 1976 Mr Kite was promoted to Class 2 and officiated in the New Brompton and Medway Sunday Leagues. In 1976 he became the Sheppey Referees' branch coach.

In 1980 he was promoted to Class 1 and officiated in the Kent League as a linesman. He joined the board of Sheppey United as a director in 1981.

He retired as branch coach to the Sheppey referees in 1996 but returned in 1997 as a replacement could not be found.

Mr Kite, who received his award from Kent County FA vice-chairman Colin Boswell, said: “This will go down among the most memorable days in my footballing life. I regard the honour as a great privilege but it is an honour that I accept on behalf of all football on the Island.”

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