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Local sports volunteer honoured by royals and England football at London awards ceremony

PUBLISHED: 12:59 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:59 12 March 2018

Stuart receiving his Torch Trophy Trust Award, presented by the Duke of Gloucester at the Army & Navy Club. Picture: George S Blonsky

Stuart receiving his Torch Trophy Trust Award, presented by the Duke of Gloucester at the Army & Navy Club. Picture: George S Blonsky

GEO PICTORIAL / George S Blonsky © GEORGE S BLONSKY

A sports volunteer from Bexley was honoured with a prestigious national award last night (Wednesday, March 7) presented by the Duke of Gloucester.

Stuart Blake Turpin received his honour from the Torch Trophy Trust, a charity supported by Daks of London, which supports and recognises sports volunteers across the UK.

Stuart’s exceptional service to both the sport and the local community led to him being nominated by the English Schools Football Association, who recognised his efforts in establishing and maintaining a thriving programme of inter-school sports activities in Bexley.

On top of this, his voluntary service spans more than 30 years, and he has been Bexley District football team manager since 1984.

England great Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, who is president of the trust, was also on hand at the ceremony, which took place at the Army and Navy Club in London.

He said: “Without people like Stuart, sport simply wouldn’t exist.

“We’re very lucky in this country to have an army of volunteers but these awards are given to only a handful of people each year.

“They are in recognition of being one of our most devoted sports volunteers, so each of our winners has my personal thanks and my appreciation.”

The Duke of Gloucester said he believed that award-winners were also inspiring role-models for other people.

He added: “Volunteering is the lifeblood of the UK and it is an honour to reward people who give up so much of their time and their energy for others. “I hope they act as an inspiration to the people around them.”

The Torch Trophy Trust was founded in 1962 by the late Commander Bill Collins RN, then honorary secretary of the Amateur Athletic Association.

It exists to encourage, reward and recognise the UK’s three million sports volunteers, identifying sporting volunteers who ordinarily would go unrecognised for their extensive work.

The are unique in acknowledging the breadth of the contribution of volunteers in sport, something which has been at the heart of its mission since it was founded 56 years ago.

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