TWO members of a junior football league have been honoured for their services to sport – dedicating a combined total of more than 80 years to the game they love.

Steve Lee and David Westwell have served the Accrington and District Junior Football League from player to committee man, with Lee’s involvement stretching back to the 1950s.

The pair were among a loyal band who were honoured at the recent Lancashire FA long service awards held at the County Ground, Leyland.

Westwell was presented with a 30 Years Service Award, as was Lee, who also picked up an award for 50 years dedication.

“It was a bit of a shock because I thought I was only going to pick up the 30 years service award,” said 61-year-old Lee. “So to get the second was a real honour. I suppose the next aim now is to clock up 60 years.”

Lee, whose father Tom Lee formed the league in 1958, has been with it since its inception, playing for St Augustines FC in their first ever game – an 8-1 win at St Mary Magdelene’s.

He stayed with the club until 1964 and then went on to manager Huncoat Dynamoes before becoming a match official – a role he still fulfils to this day.

He joined the league’s committee in 1968 as registration secretary and has held posts ranging from league secretary referee appointment secr-etary and president – a post he has held since 1992.

He was awarded life membership of the league in 1980 and served as chairman of Huncoat United JFC – a club he helped form with Ian Birtwell and John Cullen – for nearly 20 years.

He was awarded life president of the club in 2003.

Westwell’s involvement stretches over four decades – although he admits he is serving the longest notice in memory having ‘resigned’ in 1992.

“I did try to resign from the league but they were having none of it,” joked Westwell, who started as assistant manager then manager of Accrington Colts in the 1980s. “I suppose I have been working my notice since then!”

Like many parents, he got involved when his children decided they wanted to play football.

After a spell as a referee, he became the league’s long-running treasurer, a post he held from 1985 to 2009, before taking over the role at registration secretary.

“It was lovely to get the long service medal,” he added. “It was a nice surprise as I had no idea the LFA ran such a thing.”