At our Annual Awards Evening this month, we were proud to present Derek Budgen with his FA Long Service Award celebrating 50 years in football.
Since his first game for Balcombe FC when he was 16-years-old, football has been a constant in Derek’s life.
His entry into the Sussex football scene came in the form of Cuckfield Town, and after spells playing for teams in the capital, he returned to the county to manage Balcombe Sunday in 1981.
It was during this time that Derek also started to take his first steps on a journey into officiating, eventually taking the course and running the line in the County League.
At the same time, he was also part of the group that founded a new Sunday side Brook Street Buccaneers, which had a successful first season in Lewes & District Sunday League and then the Sussex Sunday League, finishing mid table in the league and reaching Lower Junior Cup Final.
During his refereeing career he joined the Mid Sussex Referees Association, and it was through that involvement that he took part in the organisation’s trips over the pond to Minnesota each July for USA Cup, with Derek attending in 1995 and 2001.
2001 also saw him take on the role of Referee’s Secretary for Mid Sussex Football League; a position he held for nearly 10 years.
A role as Fixtures Secretary then followed in September 2019.
Derek called time on his refereeing career last season, after officiating in most of the Mid Sussex League Cups Finals and many County Cup Finals.
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