PAUL and Tracey Boyd are some of the longest tenured servants with Richmond Ex-Servicemens Soccer Club and they could not be happier to celebrate the club’s 50th season.
On July 22, the club will host the ‘50th Anniversary Blue and Gold Ball’ at the Hawkesbury Race Club.
Blue and gold are the club’s colours, and the pair hope to see plenty of familiar faces from over the years turn up to the ball.
Ahead of the event, the husband and wife pair sat down with The Gazette and talked about their time with the club.
For Paul, it began in 1975, not long after its formation in 1968.
Paul came on as a coach, and also ended up joining an all-age men’s team as well in his first season.
Tracey did not join until later, signing up to play in an all-age women’s team in 1982.
In the 1980s they both had short breaks from the club, but otherwise have been fixtures with the club since joining.
Paul has been the long term president, while Tracey is now the administrator of the club, and along with a team of volunteers, which they are very pleased has expanded for this season, they make sure the club keeps ticking.
“You choose a sport that you love and you can give back. One of my first coaches always said give back to the sport and I guess I have,” Tracey said.
“My kids stayed with the club and you are happy to come back and help them as they progress through the years. now we have grandchildren at the club.”
The grandchildren are Campbell, who plays in the under-12 boys team, and Darci, who plays in the under-16s girls team, and both are still coached by Paul.
He said the thing that had kept him at the club since 1975 was the joy of seeing children and adults play sport in the Richmond colours.
“Being able to help kids play sport is why I do it,” he said.
“We need to make sure these kids are getting on the park otherwise they leave the sport.”
Both said the social aspect of being involved with sport, more than made up for much of the hard yards they had to put in to make sure the club kept running.
“It has been an experience. You get to meet so many people. I've met some really fantastic people over the years,” Paul said.
In 1982, the club won its first title, with the under-14 division one team, coached by Steve Gainsford, topping the table and also making it to the quarter finals of the Champions of Champions competition.
From 1982, Tracey said every year bar 1987 and 1995 had yielded at least one premiership.
In 2008, the under-18 division one girls went through their competition undefeated and made the semi-finals of the Champions of Champions competition.
Tracey said while there were plenty of happy memories, the thing that made her enjoy working with the club the most was knowing the club was functioning and had plenty of teams.
“We measure our true success at Richmond in the fact that people want to come back and play at our club year in and year out,” she said.
Tracey said anyone who wanted to attend should contact the club and she would love people to bring old memorabilia.