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CCFA Chairman Retires

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Dennis Champion, the Chairman of Cornwall Football Association is retiring after 14 years in the post. Dennis, from St Breward, has been involved in football all his life and with Cornwall FA since 1970. Dennis played senior football as a young man for Camelford in the South Western league. It was after a serious bout of tuberculosis, which left him hospitalised for 10 months in 1956 that Dennis took up refereeing to aid his recovery and to get him back to fitness.

This led to a distinguished refereeing career in the South Western and East Cornwall Leagues which included Dennis officiating at all the County’s cup finals except the Junior Cup final.

In 1970, Dennis was elected onto the Council of Cornwall FA as the member representing the Bodmin area. He was put on to the youth and the referees committees, and subsequently served on the executive committee. He had two spells as Chairman of the Association in the days when the Chairmanship changed annually. Another post held by Dennis was that of FA representative. In this role he took the views of Cornwall to The FA and sat on national committees in London.

He was elected Chairman in 1994 to serve a longer term which coincided with the Association’s most progressive phase, as Dennis says, “The most significant time for me was the phase from 1997 when we bought our first premises in St Austell up to and including our incorporation as a limited company which was completed in 2001.”

While heavily involved in football, Dennis worked for more than 50 years in the granite trade at Hantergantick Quarry on Bodmin Moor, barely a mile from his home village of St Breward. He finished his working career as the manager there.

As far as the challenges facing football at the present time, Dennis is concerned about the next generation of volunteers in small clubs, “I’ve represented clubs in North Cornwall and I’ve lost five junior clubs in recent years. It’s difficult for some of the small clubs to recruit younger volunteers in club administration. We still need people in the rural areas to come forward to carry on their good work.”

Dennis was presented with a gift from the Association of an engraved hip flask to mark his retirement as Chairman. He will remain as a member of the board of directors.

The new Chairman is Geoff Lee from Callington.

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