And the top honour goes to Mr Maccabi

Stuart Lustigman has been awarded the Yakir Maccabi award, the highest honour bestowed by the Maccabi Movement parent body Maccabi World Union.

One of Maccabi GB’s longest-serving members, Lustigman was recognised for his lifetime efforts and splendid achievements in the service of the Maccabi movement.

He said: “The award was first presented in 1984 since when only 103 people have received a Yakir Maccabi Award worldwide. I dedicate the award to my family and the many wonderful

Maccabi friends that I have made over the past 40 years.

“I am extremely honoured to be counted among such great Maccabi stalwarts. Maybe the two individuals that I have always considered as my Maccabi mentors are the late Ken Gradon and the late Dick Urban.” Lustigman first became involved with Maccabi in the 1968/9 season when he joined Kingsheath United, playing in the MSFL, then just two divisions. He managed MAL (Maccabi Association London) in 1976 before moving to Brady Maccabi when the club first opened in 1979, and was responsible for the football section, totalling 13 teams, as well as playing.

A qualified referee and holder of an FA coaching badge, Lustigman founded the Maccabi (Southern) Primary Football League, with the late Bill Orkin, in 1988 and the Maccabi Masters Football League in 1999.

He was duly appointed director of Maccabi Union Sports in 1987 and then chairman from 1991-1995. As a staunch supporter of Israel, Lustigman has attended five Maccabiah Games, six European Maccabi Games, four JCC Maccabi Games and a Pan-American Maccabi Games in various capacities.

The forthcoming 18th Maccabiah in July will be his sixth.

    Last updated: 2:55pm, March 19 2009