THE term ‘Unsung Hero’ has become almost synonymous with Non-League football and in Albert Lant, we definitely found one.
Wthout the riches and nationwide attention that the top of the game attracts, Non-League is a labour of love.
So to dedicate a large chunk of your life to a club is something that definitely deserves recognition, which is why 92-year-old Lant was named the SCL Unsung Hero at our National Game Awards.
Originally a boys club, Albert took Concord Rangers into competitive football for the first time in 1967.
With his son Steve in the team, Lant managed Concord in their formative years and helped lay the foundations for the success they went on to achieve.
A move to Saturday football soon followed and the club climbed up to the Essex Senior League, with Albert overseeing the promotions as chairman.
After retiring as chairman in 1991, Lant became club president, a post he still holds to this day with Rangers now an established National League South side.
Concord chairman Ant Smith was on hand to pick up the award and says every club needs a character like Lant.
“Albert was the founder of Concord Rangers 50 years ago this year, so I thought it was about time to put him up for the award after all the years of service,” Smith said.
“He started up a side which has come through all the Sunday Leagues and all the local leagues around Essex, right through to the National League South so it’s a great journey.
“He’s been very hands-on over the years, not so much now as he’s in his 90s, but I remember him being at the club and fixing doors and doing everything at the club.
“That’s exactly what a Non-League club needs, people to help out every week, you need it kept tidy, the pitch needs to be done and there are other duties with turnstiles – he embodies what every club needs.
“This season has been our hardest for a few years.?We had a bad start this season so we need a better start and a couple of cup runs would be nice. But we can enjoy a few weeks off now.”