LONG-serving Recreation Assistant Lewis Coffey has called full-time on a 36-year career at Colcot Sports Centre.
A legendary character on the local sports scene, Lewis retired last week on the day of his 65th birthday.
The sports centre supervisor has been a familiar face to people using the facility in Barry since first taking up his position in May 1980.
During that time, Lewis has helped organise a mammoth 5-a-side operation, once the biggest in the country, and also oversaw an award-winning bodybuilding department.
“I have been involved in organising 5-a-side football, cricket, badminton and even bodybuilding years ago,” said Lewis.
“I used to arrange competitions for our club Barry Bodybuilding and we won an award as the best club in Wales in 1986.
“We had the biggest 5-a-side competition in Britain at one point. There were summer leagues on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night as well as at weekends.
“I got stuck into it, there was only me doing it so I used to spend two or three hours a week sorting out all the admin.
“We had some good players, quite a few who went on to play for the likes of Barry Town and Taff’s Well.”
Colcot Sports centre has a range of sporting facilities available for hire, including an all-weather pitch, football and rugby pitches, a climbing wall, sports hall and badminton courts.
Lewis has been celebrating his retirement with family and friends and is now preparing for a well-earned rest.
“I’ve really enjoyed my job, the highlight was probably during the 1980s and 90s, but I’m looking forward to retirement,” he added.
“There are still plenty of children that come to the sports centre so the place is really important for the local community.”