SUNDAY morning footballers will do battle for one of the area’s top trophies in the name of a well-respected servant to the league.

John Oliver served the Hexham and District Sunday League for decades, initially as a manager and then as a key figure on the management committee as secretary and treasurer.

John, who was also highly regarded through his role as secretary of the Prudhoe and Darts League, died following a short illness last month.

The football league he spent so much time and effort with has been quick to pay tribute to him, and the Division One KO Cup will be renamed in his honour. With immediate effect, the teams in the top division will play for the SCA John Oliver Cup.

The league’s current secretary, Wilton Holmes, said: “I have known John for years and I helped him run Prudhoe Big Club when he was manager and I took over when he packed in.

“I then took over as league secretary too.

“He was such a good servant to the league.

“John was well-known and well-respected from a football point of view so we thought it would be a nice tribute to rename the trophy after him.

“I asked his widow Anne about it and she was over the moon and said John would have been chuffed.”

Wilton paid tribute to John, saying he had been a big help in his football journey.

“I got on well with John,” said Wilton. “I helped him out at the club when they got promoted.

“When I took over as secretary, if I had any problems and I wasn’t sure about anything, I would just go to him and he was really helpful, and he remained on the management committee.”