Keith Whitlock started playing football in 1960 in the Tonbridge & District Football League for Tonbridge YMCA. Not only did he play but very soon started becoming involved with club administration, holding such positions as Secretary and Chairman and was the main fundraiser to assist the club with their new changing rooms.
In 1971, a knee injury, forced Keith to give up playing and it was in that year that he qualified as a Class 3 referee, two years later he gained his Class 2 and in 1975 his Class 1 status.
Keith refereed on a number of Leagues including the Tunbridge Wells Minor, Tonbridge & District Junior, West Kent Sunday, Kent County, Southern Counties Combination and the London Old Boys Football League.
During his active refereeing years, he was a member of the Tunbridge Wells Branch of the Kent Referees Association, serving in the posts of Minutes Secretary, Vice Chairman, and six years as the Chairman of the Branch.
Keith was elected a member of the Tonbridge & District Junior Football League Executive Committee 1990 and became their Minutes Secretary, in 1995 he became Vice Chairman and in 2002 he was appointed as Chairman, a position he held for 7 years. In 2008 he was elected as a Vice President of the League and remains in that position.
At the same time as serving the Saturday league, in 1995 Keith also joined the West Kent Sunday League Committee, he became their Vice Chairman from 1999 until 2002.
In 1991 he was elected a member of the Kent County Football Association in Division 3 and as was often the case in those days Keith’s first appointment was to the Youth Committee.
In 1993 he was appointed as a member of the Referees Committee and continues to serve on that Committee to this day. He also qualified as referee assessor and he currently assesses, or should I say observes, for both the Kent FA and the Southern Counties East League.
Between 1995 – 2007 Keith acted as Chief Referees Assessor for Division 3. Keith has always actively supported the Division in any way he can, attending Divisional meetings and serving on Disciplinary Commissions when required.
In 2010, Keith was elected a Vice President of the Tonbridge Referee Society. At around that same time Keith became a member of the Kent FA IT Committee and whilst a member, he assisted with the Kent FA relocation, he took responsibility for overseeing the provision of the telephone systems in both the temporary location and then managed the transfer and upgrade of the system into the Association’s new Headquarters at Invicta House.
In 2012 Keith was elected to the position of Vice President of the Kent FA, a position he continues to serve and also currently serves as the Tonbridge & District Football League representative to the Kent FA.
Keith was presented with his award in February at the Kent FA Division 3 Dinner, by Kent FA Vice Chairman Philip Smith.
Congratulations Keith, we really do appreciate all the hard work you do for grassroots football.