Umpire honoured with inaugural Neville Carter Memorial Cup

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A Pelicans player who has given years of service to the club as a player and an umpire has been honoured with a new award.Chris Willett is the inaugural winner of the Neville Carter Memorial Cup – named after the former club player, chairman and president who passed away back in 2022.Neville was and will always be remembered for being “Mr Pelican”.Having joined the club in 1954, he played, captained, umpired and served the committee as chairman and finally president for 15 years.As well as all these roles he sat on several committees for Norfolk and East Hockey.Following his untimely death in October 2022 his family and the club rightly wanted to remember him and everything he did with an annual award.Umpires are often the unsung heroes of the sport and the club couldn’t play without them.They are all volunteers so with Neville being an umpire it was only fitting that the club should have an award in his memory.Before the Pelicans Over 50s game recently, Willett was presented with the cup by Neville’s eldest daughter Pauline King.Willett has himself given many years’ service to the club as a player and latterly as an umpire, not only club games at home but also in the pool representing the club at other venues through the Norfolk Pool.He first joined the Pelicans in 1988 and started in the men’s 4th team before soon establishing himself as the first-team goalkeeper.Unfortunately, injuries stopped him from playing between the posts so he played outfield for a couple of seasons while he gained his umpiring qualification.As well as officiating for the club, Willett now mentors and develops young umpires coming through the ranks.He has now been umpiring for 15 years and the club thanks him for his tireless commitment to umpiring.

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