KEN Reynolds is the epitome of a bush football volunteer.
For the best part of four decades he has been the faceless man behind the scenes at East Wagga-Kooringal.
Lawn mowing, ground maintenance, timekeeping, and general elbow-grease work has all fallen on his shoulders since arriving in Wagga in 1976.
But you wouldn’t hear about any of it if you asked him.
“There’s a lot of other people around the club who do an enormous amount of work, like there is at every football club,” Reynolds said.
Despite his modesty, Reynolds’ service has now been recognised at the highest level.
He was awarded an AFL merit award, beating a swag of contenders from NSW to be the only state recipient.
Fourteen volunteers from Southern NSW alone were nominated, totalling 413 years of service to their respective clubs.
Reynolds, again, was not about to pump his own tyres.
“It’s one I would like to share with all the other volunteers at the club,” he said.
“I’ve never been too interested in awards ... we have won a few for our business and I’ve never gone to a presentation night.
“I’m pleased (to win it), but I just love being around the football club.
“It’s where all my friends are.”
Hawks president Rob Richards could not speak highly enough of the club stalwart.
“Kenny is the heart and soul of the club,” Richards said.
“He’s been a passionate supporter and tireless worker behind the scenes for such a long time.
“And he’s such a selfless person – he puts in hundreds of hours every year, but he would never tell you about it.
“There’s not too many Ken Reynolds in the world.”
AFL Southern NSW community football manager Paul Habel also paid credit to Reynolds when presenting the merit award this week.
“Ken’s commitment and dedication to a club he loves dearly has been phenomenal, and he is a very much deserved winner of this award,” Habel said.
EWK has changed significantly between 1976 and today, and the club has played in three different leagues since Reynolds first joined the scene all those years ago.
He has seen some outstanding players during his time but rates club legend Greg Smith as the pick of the crop.
Reynolds has a lot of fond memories of the past 40 years.
“Winning the first RFL flag, and coming from nowhere to do it, that is one that stands out for me,” he said.
“But from a personal view I suppose being made a life member was my proudest moment.”
Reynolds has been a life member of the club for close to three decades.
If you ever want watch the Hawks play at Gumly Oval, the best seat in the house is next to Ken and Jack in the timekeeper’s box.