LAST weekend was a milestone in the history of the Beckett Football League as league chairman Keith Sales celebrated 50 years as a league official.

He was elected secretary of the league on Monday, November 23, 1970, the day his son Richard was supposed to be born. He was a few days late and eventually arrived on November 29.

Mr Sales was secretary for 44 years, and treasurer for the past six years, with the last four years also as chairman, and the last season and half as fixture secretary.

Over the five decades he has also doubled up as the press secretary for the league, and before he became secretary, he served on the management committee for four years.

When Mr Sales was first elected, the league had 13 teams as members, Sheriff Hutton were top with Gillamoor second, Sinnington third, and Slingsby fourth. Kirkbymoorside Reserves were bottom with Farndale, Y.F.B.F. and Westow United also in the bottom four.

The league formed two divisions in 1994, a move Mr Sales describes as the best it has ever made.

Mr Sales says that he has enjoyed every minute of his time with the league. "It’s been a pleasure, never a chore," he says. "It is a great local league, sportsmanship is of the highest degree, which gives me an immense sense of satisfaction."

He also served on the Scarborough and District FA Council for 29 years, including three as treasurer and ten as secretary. Mr Sales was also secretary of Pickering Town from 1988 to 1994 and an active referee for 28 years, including eight years as a football league linesman.