FOR nearly 30 years, Graham Pilkie was directly involved with Football Mid North Coast and his lengthy association with the sporting body was recognised recently when he was awarded life membership.
While of his first association with the round-ball code, is hazy, Pilkie said it was originally only to help out after a coach of one of the lower grades walked away from the position.
"It was about the time they couldn't get a coach for the under 8s and they couldn't get a secretary at the local club, Wauchope, at the time either so I stepped in til they got someone on and then stayed there," he said.
"I've always been someone who wants to contribute; not just sit back and let everybody else do the work and then whinge when things don't go the way you want them to."
The former football administrator was humbled to receive plaudits from those involved in the game.
"You don't go looking for recognition but when it comes from your peers you always feel humbled and honoured for that thing to happen," he said.
Pilkie now has no involvement with the game after 28 years and said he did not feel like he would miss it.
"I'm retired now, I've done my time," he said.
"You miss it to a degree, but you don't pine for it.
"You decide it's time to move on and I knew there was capable people there.
"I don't long to go back or anything like that.
"When you look at it, your adult life starts at 18 so I spent half of it as a volunteer for football, and then I was starting to fight the same battles I fought 25 years ago, and I didn't want to do that again."
Pilkie also praised the support of wife Ann throughout his association with football from early playing days through to his numerous years in administration.
He was confident the game was in good hands with the current administration which would ensure the code would continue to grow.
"We would have more registrations as a sport in the Port Macquarie-Hastings district than all the other codes put together," Pilkie said.
"A lot of people take up football because it's a great game for boys and girls.
"You can play it at six and still at 60 if your body stands up.
"You can play it while you're disabled and you can play it for as long as you want to."
And how was Pilkie going to spend his spare time now?
"I can go and play bowls and enjoy myself and get out in the sunshine," he said.