Loyal Burnley employee Jim gets Royal seal of approval

Jim Thompson (second left)
Jim Thompson (second left)

Long-serving Clarets employee Jim Thompson has received the royal seal of approval in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The 85-year-old, who won the Football League’s Unsung Hero award in 2011, was one of 10 people recently nominated by the Football League to recognise their outstanding contribution and service to football.

And it is a richly deserved long-service honour for the popular turnstile supervisor, who has worked at Turf Moor in a number of roles… since 1946!

Jim received his medal from HRH The Duke Of Cambridge, in his official capacity as President of The Football Association at a special event created to champion the huge role that volunteers play in football on a weekly basis.

Around 150 grassroots heroes helped celebrate The Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations, which totals more than 400,000 individuals and includes everyone from mums and dads, coaches, referees and administrators who all give up their time.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, who hosted the ceremony, said: “In its 150th year, it is hugely important for The FA to honour the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who week in, week out, help to provide the opportunity for millions more people to enjoy football at grassroots level.

“Inviting these volunteers to Buckingham Palace provides a fitting way for The FA to pay tribute and give thanks.”

Greg Dyke, Chairman of The Football Association, said: “These volunteers are the heartbeat of football. Without them, the game simply wouldn’t function at a grassroots level and it is only right that The FA honours their tireless and selfless work.

Football League Chairman Greg Clarke and Chief Executive Shaun Harvey were among the specially invited guests to see the presentation.

The recipients of the medals, chosen for their outstanding contribution and service to football, and selected on the basis of having previously won the ‘Fan of the Year’ or ‘Unsung Hero’ award at the annual Football League Awards, were Jeff Hall (Chesterfield), Stanley McGowen (Bury FC), Paul Samrah (Brighton and Hove Albion), Warner Duff (Ipswich Town), Sue Pollard (Plymouth Argyle), Neil Le Milliere (Exeter City), Kevin Monks (Coventry City), Jim Thompson (Burnley), Paul Bradley (Preston North End), and Billy Neil (Millwall).