Rochdale Football Club is delighted to announce that Keith Hicks and Andy Thorpe have been recognised by the EFL for their services to the club.
The duo, who retired during the 2020/21 campaign, have received the EFL Long Service Award.
Usually, under normal circumstances, they would have attended the prestigious EFL awards ceremony in London, but with the event not taking place at a central venue this year due to Covid, their accolades were sent directly to the club and they were presented with their respective awards at the Crown Oil Arena.
Hicks, who played for Dale between 1985 and 1987 before retiring through injury, returned to the club to join the Community Trust in its infancy, just a month after it began officially operating, on October 5th 1987. He spent the next 33 years engaging with hundreds of people every year, including with numerous community groups delivering in health, education, inclusion and sports participation. He was the longest serving Community Manager amongst the 92 professional football clubs in England and Wales, prior to his retirement.
He commented: “It’s really nice to have been recognised for something that I have loved doing.
“It’s a pleasure to have worked for this football club and I must admit that I miss being around the place and seeing the people that work here. I always put loyalty at the top of my list of things that I’ve been proud of, and I’ve been loyal to this club.
“I’m honoured to have received this accolade.”
Thorpe, meanwhile, retired in November of last year after 43 years of service to football, including 21 years as the club’s Physio, having joined Dale in 1999.
“Receiving this award means an awful lot to me,” he said.
“Everyone at the club has always been great with me, from players to managers and staff, and I have always appreciated everything everyone has done for me.
“This is a really lovely award to get and it’s a lovely way to the leave club.”
Congratulations, Keith and Andy. Well deserved!