Having held our virtual end-of-season awards ‘ceremony’ online on Sunday evening, with Callum Guy picking up the player-of-the-season accolades, we are delighted to announce that three other very special awards were also presented on behalf of the EFL.
Had all been as it should have been last March chairman Andrew Jenkins, honorary president David Dent and secretary Sarah McKnight would have been in attendance at the London-based showcase event where they would have received recognition for their long-service and dedication to the Blues.
The 2021 ceremony was postponed, as was this year’s event, so the honours were presented by the club.
Carlisle lad Mr Jenkins, as we know, became one of the youngest directors in the Football League in 1959 when, as a 23-year-old, he made his first steps into the boardroom here at Brunton Park.
His time behind the scenes with the Cumbrians has brought the expected cycle of ups and downs, with nine promotions and nine relegations joined by six appearances in the EFL Trophy in its various guises over the years.
Fast forward one season and Appleby-born David Dent became the club’s first ever full-time secretary in 1960. He moved to join Coventry City in 1978, before stepping up as deputy secretary of the Football League under Graham Kelly in 1984.
He became secretary of the league in his own right five years later, before retiring from the game in 2001. United made him honorary president during the summer of 2010.
Current club secretary Sarah McKnight has now held her post for 27-years and has worked under 19 different managerial regimes (16 as secretary) since joining as an 18-year-old in a receptionist role.
She has attended all six of our Trophy finals in an official capacity, and was at the heart of the behind-the-scenes activities as United recovered from the drop into the Conference to rebuild, refocus, and go on to enjoy back-to-back promotions, motoring through League Two and into League One.
Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “Congratulations from everybody at the club to Andrew, David and Sarah, and we thank them all for their loyal service.
“For our chairman, reaching 60-years is truly remarkable in the game. It is very rare.
“Andrew, David and Sarah are all very worthy recipients of the recognition. It’s a real shame they couldn’t be honoured at an EFL ceremony, but it is a privilege for us to be able to mark these milestones.”