LAST week we hosted the inaugural South Wales Argus Sports Awards and it was a pleasure to meet 84-year-old Reg Jewitt, winner of the Outstanding Services to Sport in Gwent prize.

I was sat on the same table as the Lliswerry AFC boys at the Celtic Manor and they were at pains to tell me how much Reg deserved the award.

He started the club’s senior section in the 1970s and won numerous league titles and cups as manager and he’s still at the heart of the action well into his ninth decade.

And the mutual respect between Reg and everyone at Lliswerry was clear for everyone to see.

“It means so much to me because these young men that I looked after for 40 years have been brilliant and I love every one of them,” said the octogenarian after collecting his award from Olympic legend Linford Christie.

“It’s a nice reward for me but they’ve been wonderful – they’ve kept me young.

“I’m 80-odd years of age but every one of them has kept me young. Bless them all. I love them and I’ll keep going.”

Reg was also on the books of Newport County as a teenager and he’s done a sterling job of passing on a lifetime’s experience in football to the next generation and the one after that, and the one after that…

“I signed pro when I was 17 and I had to take my father along with me,” he recalled of his time with the Ironsides.

“Ray Lawrence was the manager then and he wanted me to sign so he said I’d have to bring my father along with me to sign the contract for part-time professional football.

“I went from there to Lovell’s Athletic and then I got called up [for National Service] but I’ve had a good time [in football] and these boys [at Lliswerry] – I love them all.”

Congratulations Reg and keep up the good work.