On Saturday, at half-time of the match against Leyton Orient, Boreham Wood were honoured to receive the Sir Stanley Rous Memorial Trophy.
Club Chairman Danny Hunter felt that it was only correct, for our President Mr Bill O’Neill to receive the trophy, on behalf of the club.
Club President Bill O’Neill, who turned 91 this year, was presented with the trophy by the President of the County FA, Eddie King, who was accompanied by the Chairman of the Competitions’ Committee, John Burlison.
The three men were introduced to the crowd by the club’s PA announcer Mark Hughes, before the presentation took place on the pitch.
The club were awarded the prestigious trophy for our achievement in reaching the final of the Vanarama National League Play-offs, narrowly losing to Tranmere Rovers.
It was during that season, our 70th anniversary year, that we also defeated Blackpool in the FA Cup, the club’s first ever win over a Football League team.
While, the club also won the county’s Herts Senior Cup, beating Royston Town in the final.
WHAT IS THE SIR STANLEY ROUS MEMORIAL TROPHY?
Sir Stanley Rous was born and bred in Hertfordshire, and in his early days was the General Secretary of the West Herts Football League. He was also a qualified referee and rose to the heights of Football League status.
His football administrative skills took him on to the Football Association where he served as Secretary from 1934 until 1962, and also saw him serve on the Committees within FIFA. He was knighted in 1949 following his input into the 1948 London Olympic Games. In 1961, he was elected President of FIFA, a post he held until 1974.
The Hertfordshire FA is very proud to have had a man like Sir Stanley come through its own ranks.
After his death in 1986 at the age of 91, the Hertfordshire FA donated a Trophy in his memory, and a triangular Inter County Competition was set up involving Essex, Hertfordshire and Middlesex. The final county to win the competition, before its demise in 1994, were Hertfordshire.
In 2002, a Hertfordshire FA Competitions’ Committee member agreed that the Trophy be re-aired in the form of a special merit award. It would be awarded annually and would be won by a Club, an organisation, a Match Official, or an individual, who – to quote – “brought most prestige to Hertfordshire for achievements in the recently concluded season”.
Each of the 13 members of the Competitions’ Committee casts a vote for his own choice of winner, no short list of nominations or anything like that, and the winner is then found.