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Football club stalwart recognised with stand named after him

Mick Bailey with his wife Pauline and their family. Thetford Town FC have named the stand in Mr Bailey's honour. Picture: Thetford Town FC

Mick Bailey with his wife Pauline and their family. Thetford Town FC have named the stand in Mr Bailey's honour. Picture: Thetford Town FC

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A football club has recognised the hard work and dedication of one if its members by naming a stand after him.

Mick Bailey with his wife Pauline. Thetford Town FC have named the stand in Mr Bailey's honour. Picture: Thetford Town FCMick Bailey with his wife Pauline. Thetford Town FC have named the stand in Mr Bailey's honour. Picture: Thetford Town FC

A fan of Thetford Town FC since he was young, Mick Bailey started playing for Thetford Town Minors as a 16-year-old before playing for the club’s reserve team.

The 78-year-old became a committee member in 1973 and was involved in the running of the club.

He has also been club treasurer, secretary, groundsman and stepped down as club chairman in 2015 when he took up the role of president.

He was also a representative on the Norfolk FA committee for 25 years.

Mick Bailey with the Thetford Town FC first team. Picture: Thetford Town FCMick Bailey with the Thetford Town FC first team. Picture: Thetford Town FC

To honour his commitment, following the refurbishment of the club’s stand, it was decided it would be named the Mick Bailey Stand.

Club chairman Nigel Armes said: “We thought we would recognise what he has done and what he has done in the past has enabled the town to have a football club.

“There are not many people these days that will go out of their way to do volunteer work probably to the tune of dozens of hours a week for 52 weeks over 52 years. He is what I call a true volunteer.”

He added: “Mick has been with the club forever and his family have been a big part of the club over the years.

“His wife Pauline has been behind him all the time.

“She does the refreshments at half-time and used to clean the changing rooms. She has supported him in his quest run the club and has been by his side.”

Mr Bailey, whose sons and grandsons play for the club, said he was proud to have the stand named after him.

“It was lovely and made me proud,” he said. “The club has been my life and I have enjoyed it.”

Through grants and private donations the club has been able to refurbish the stand, clubhouse and changing room facilities.

Mr Armes said the £300,000 works were needed to secure the future of the club, which was established in 1883.

“Thetford is a very old club,” he said. “If I am honest, two years ago if we had not spent this money, the football club would not have survived.

“The facilities were terrible. We have come a long way, and we have a lot of Thetford people playing for the team. We just wanted to make a stronger club.”

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