A SHOCKED Kendal Rugby Club stalwart has received a top national award after being recognised for his ‘outstanding dedication and commitment to rugby’ over the years.

Club president Arthur Perie was rewarded by the RFU at Twickenham, where England head coach Eddie Jones presented him with the RFU’s Value the Volunteer outstanding contribution award.

This award is an honorary accolade given to people who have dedicated much of their spare time to a sports club.

Nominated by Kendal Rugby Club, Arthur says he was in ‘complete shock’ when his name was called to receive the award at Twickenham, where he had gone to watch the England v Japan autumn international.

“I just thought I had been given tickets to watch the England match,” he said. “It was a bit of a surprise, to say the least. It’s very humbling to have been thought of in this way.

“I just want to say a massive thanks to all the players and club members for the support they have given me over the past few years. For people to take two minutes of their day to say thank you or well done means a lot to me – I don’t think they realise how much exactly.”

Arthur joined Kendal as a player when he was just 14-years-old, and since wearing the black and amber kit there is nothing he has not been involved with.

From being a stand-in physiotherapist to a bottle washer or from kit man to fundraiser, Arthur has clearly been an integral part of the club over the years. He has also coached a number of junior teams.

While acting as president he still finds the time to put on his rugby boots to organise the club’s touch rugby games and also runs the social team and acts as referee co-ordinator.

A spokesman for the club said: “Kendal RUFC is delighted that Arthur has been recognised for his services to the game. His commitment to Kendal has been second to none and the club is incredibly lucky to have such a well thought of volunteer who helps out in all aspects.

“All good clubs depend on their volunteers and someone like Arthur, who can step in to a number of roles and pick up a number of jobs, is invaluable.

“We know he enjoyed his time at Twickenham and we hope to count on his support for many more years to come.”

On his day at Twickenham Arthur enjoyed a ‘behind the scenes tour’ of the stadium as well as a pre-match lunch and prime tickets for the England v Japan game. And the day culminated at a ‘black tie’ post match event along with the teams in the South Stand – where he received his award.