ARISE, SIR STEVE!
STEVE Hawkins will make history when he becomes the first former Armadale semi-pro player to be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA at the 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner/Induction Night at Crown Perth on November 26.
And although the induction doesn't quite equate to the Queen's Birthday Honours list, his mates are already calling him "Sir Steve".
"I received a T-shirt from a mickey-taking mate of mine, Ian Staines, calling me Sir Steve so I thought I'd try it on for size," said Steve.
But it won't be on display on the Hall of Fame Induction Night when Balingup-based Steve will be welcomed into the Hall of Recognition - along with several others from rural Western Australia.
Steve is originally from Gloucester in England and came to WA with his parents in 1968, when he was six. He played juniors with Kelmscott before linking up with Armadale SC when he was 12 - an association that lasted 28 years.
He recalls: "I went on to be captain in many age groups and progressed to the seniors at age 16. In the 28 years I stayed at Armadale I reckon I played almost 800 games, with many awards and achievements along the way. I was honoured to be made a Life Member of the club after many years of playing and being on committees, doing ground work, fund raising, bar managing etc."
In 2000, he moved to Balingup with his wife Amanda and children Charlie and Molly and played for a year with Bridgetown SC and Northcliffe United SC in the LSWSL.
The following year, Steve and Amanda started running training sessions at the local Balingup Primary School, quickly attracting players from surrounding schools. Outgrowing the school oval, they moved to the Balingup Oval to form the Balingup Soccer Club for the summer season of 2002/03 and entering teams in to the Lower South West Soccer League.
In 2004 they changed the club's name to Blackwood United FC, becoming one of the first clubs in WA to include the word "Football" and moved the teams in to the stronger winter Bunbury based associations of South West Soccer Assoc and Country Coastal Junior Soccer Assoc.
Over the years, Steve and Amanda organised many carnivals and events at both junior and senior level and also promoted and organised many inter-school events.
Steve spent 12 years as President at Blackwood. He completed various coaching levels, coached many age groups, refereed many games, marked pitches and maintained grounds. Amanda played a very big role in many of these achievements, along with very strong family support.
They were successful in achieving grant funding through Dept of Sport & Rec and turned an unused Balingup Oval into a suitable home for the Blackwood members. This included a new pitch surface, reticulation, bore, upgrading power systems to include a new transformer and 100 Lux lighting aimed at the main pitch.
In 2006 and 2007, Steve and his family travelled to the remote Community of Kalumburu and carried out week-long coaching sessions with all age groups. In 2007, they also assisted the Remote Community in sending a mixed under 16 team to travel to Balingup to attend a carnival against local teams and SW schools.
In 2008, he was instrumental in creating a united body of South West Soccer by uniting the then six associations (both junior and senior) within the region under the banner of the Football Federation South West inc. which is still going strong to this day.
Steve is still playing and refereeing at the age of 54. He is also still heading the Carnival Committee in hosting the Annual Senior five a side event that takes place in Balingup in November which attracts many clubs and teams from the Perth Metro, South West and Great Southern Zones with 42 teams attending in 2015.
*For those wishing to come along and support Steve on the Induction Night, tickets ($180 each) are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org