Local football servant Bernie Hardiman has been made a life member of the Norfolk County FA.

Bernie, who joined the Norfolk County FA Council in 1980, has made a significant and valued contribution to both the County FA and the wider football community in Norfolk. This has included fulfilling the role of commission secretary as a volunteer for 29 years – a role that passed to Matt Carpenter, the County FA’s full-time football administration manager, at the start of the current season.

Bernie said: “This is a great accolade and one that I very much appreciate. I’ve had lots of varied experience, coming from the Norwich Sunday League to be involved with the County, through various committees and then on to the discipline side with the role of commission secretary. He added: “I’ve had some great times – playing the game, refereeing in county finals at Carrow Road, being awarded life membership of the Norwich and District Sunday League and also receiving my award from the FA for 50 years of service to the game. The Life Membership with the Norfolk FA is another great honour, which I’ll treat with respect. I’ll certainly still keep doing my utmost for local football, offering advice and giving back to the game where I can.”

Shaun Turner, chief executive of Norfolk FA, said: “The criteria to become a life member states that an individual must have provided exceptional and distinguished service to the association, and Bernie epitomises this. He has been a fantastic servant to local grassroots football for in excess of a half a century and this recognition is fully deserved.”