Dougie Stephens (sat) with Mayors of Sandown and Shanklin, Cllrs Young and Knight, other Councillors, players (past and Present) and Chair of IOWDFA Geoff Ruck

An Isle of Wight football legend has been recognised for his contribution to the game by past and present players.

Sandown’s Doug Stephens had a surprise when he turned up to play on Saturday (4) and was presented with awards recognising his seven decades playing adult football on the Island.

Doug Stephens

Doug, formally of East Cowes Vics, Newport, West Wight and other Island Teams, moved to the Island (Sandown Grammar) in the 1960s from Birkenhead, and has played for Island Clubs ever since.

Sandown Mayor, Gary Young, said:

“Doug is a credit to his sport and is a role model for young people – the fact he continues to play regularly shows what can be achieved if you have the right mind-set.”

Shanklin Mayor, Steve Knight, added:

“Doug played for Shanklin VYCC in the noughties and 2010s, always encouraging the younger players – in fact all the players were younger – and it’s really appropriate that he’s recognised for his achievement.”

Doug received footballs signed by past and present colleagues, a special ‘Legend 7’ cake, a football top embroidered with each decade, and a folder of cuttings from the 7 decades, as well as emails from some of countless football friends.

Gary added:

“Doug is really an Island sporting legend, and is also known for his singing and fishing, and everyone hope’s he carries on for another decade.”