Albion stalwart Fred Woolven has been shortlisted for Brighton & Hove Albion in the Football League Awards Unsung Hero category.
The FL Awards celebrate on and off the pitch achievements across the league’s 72 clubs.
When told of the nomination, Fred said, “I was absolutely amazed. As far as I am concerned I am just an ordinary fellow doing a job. I don’t feel I am special.
“I am proud of the fact that the club has seen fit to nominate me. I would like to win it, obviously, but to be in the top three national is something to be proud of.”
Fred’s career with the club began in 1975 as a part-time agent on lottery until 1978 when he was appointed to the role of lottery area manager by vice-chair Harry Bloom, the current chairman’s grandfather.
Fred was also a steward in the 1970s and 1980s on the Seagulls Special steam trains and after the trains stopped running became a steward on the coaches looking after fans as they travelled to away games. He also worked at the Goldstone on a matchday looking after the mascots and their family.
We did lose Fred for a while during the Bellotti years when, in 1994, Mr Bellotti asked him to retire! Fred returned to his beloved Albion in 1999.
While Fred’s contribution to the club has been significant through the years, it was never more important than during the financial challenges associated from the late 1990s to 2011.
It is not an exaggeration to say that money raised from lotteries was integral to the survival of the club. Fred inspired and cajoled his lottery agents to even greater income generation and supporting the club to succeed.
Diligent, reliable and respected, nothing is too much effort for Fred, and he has been known to drop everything to help his agents at a moment’s notice.
Fully recovered from bowel cancer a few years ago, at 86 he continues to work as a volunteer on the club’s lottery scheme and is an inspiration to us all. Fred is fully deserving of this recognition and the club hopes he will continue to be a part of our team for many years to come.
The ceremony will take place at The Brewery, London, on Sunday 16th March 2014.
Albion v Doncaster at the Amex on February 8th, 3pm kick off. Tickets available online, at the Amex Ticket Office or via the telephone on 08443271901.