No plans for Bob, 60, to slow down

BOB Bullamore turned 60 yesterday.It is a milestone that might lead others to a relaxing life revolving around pipe, slippers and weekend snoozes. But Bob is made of sterner stuff and this footballing stalwart has no plans to reduce his workload.

By Elvin King

BOB Bullamore turned 60 yesterday.

It is a milestone that might lead others to a relaxing life revolving around pipe, slippers and weekend snoozes. But Bob is made of sterner stuff and this footballing stalwart has no plans to reduce his workload.

He has been the driving force behind Ipswich Sunday club Taverners for 40 years - and also referees every Saturday in the Metaltec SIL.

He devotes hours of his spare time to football every week. What makes him do it?

“Football is in my blood,” he said.

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And he can be rightly proud of his achievements, with Taverners held in high regard around the Suffolk soccer scene.

Reflecting on his longevity Bob said: “At Taverners we do our best to organise things properly, to communicate with our players and to treat them fairly.

“I think our efforts are respected by players, and this is illustrated by their loyalty.

“We have four current players who have each played over 400 games and a further six who have made over 200 appearances and are still playing.

“Others play their part to the full and we have a strong committee. However, there are certain things that need personal attention!”

Along with secretary Bill Fleming, Bob was a founder member of Taverners in 1967.

In 1971 they were joined by Pat Elvin, who is now club chairman.

Taverners played in the Sunday afternoon Gippeswyk League from 1967 to 1972 and have competed in the Sunday Morning League ever since.

“This is our 40th season and we have run two teams since 1977,” said Bob, who manages the first team and is club treasurer.

He has refereed in the SIL for 32 years and is level 5, which is equivalent to the old class one.

Bob has withstood the rigours of whistling, and still officiates every Saturday.

How has he achieved this and how does he see the future?

He explained: “I remain enthusiastic and intend to continue as long as I can.

“Clearly, there is a predominance of older referees in the Ipswich area and there could be a crisis when we eventually disappear.

“Ex-players are not taking up the whistle after enjoying a career playing at a high level.

“The game could use their experience. Being well-known, they are likely to attract immediate respect and their refereeing and man management skills will benefit from having played the game.

“So many ex-players turn to golf these days. Perhaps there is little dissent or hassle on golf courses!”

Dave Vincent has two sons who play for Taverners, and he said: “Stalwarts like Bob deserve all the praise they get.

“Tom, like his brother Sam, started playing when he was 16, and teams like Taverners give teenagers a chance to carry on playing football after leaving school.

“Otherwise kids just drop out of sport and it is difficult getting them back.”

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