Cambridge United has recognised decades of selfless dedication and tireless industry by bestowing the title of Honorary Club Historian on Andrew Bennett.
The move, announced at half-time in the home match against Morecambe on Saturday, August 26, acknowledges the extraordinary lengths Bennett has gone to in researching, recording and communicating the history of his beloved club.
In a surprise presentation, Cambridge United chairman Dave Doggett gave Andrew a fitting memento – a dummy front page of a 1970s United programme.
For many years, United have passed any queries on history or statistics to Andrew, knowing that his lovingly compiled databases would contain the answers. Now the relationship has been declared official.
The recognition comes as Andrew prepares Risen from the Dust, the second volume of his Celery & Coconuts history of Abbey/Cambridge United, for October publication.
Celery & Coconuts is published by Lovely Bunch, the publishing offshoot of CFU’s heritage arm, 100 Years of Coconuts. Andrew is a Coconuts volunteer and a member of its management committee.
Andrew first came to the notice of the wider United public in the late 1990s, when his idiosyncratic match reports were first published on the unofficial website run by Andrea Thrussell.
Tellingly accurate and entertainingly written, the reports soon gained an enthusiastic audience among website visitors and members of the Moosenet news group.
Nowadays published widely on social media, Andrew’s reports reach a worldwide audience. He also writes regularly for the United matchday programme.
The former bank employee, now a porter at Selwyn College, started to accompany his father to local football matches in the 1960s. His first United game came at a time when United and Cambridge City were still vying for supremacy.
Aided by his formidable powers of memory and facility with statistical matter, he soon began to amass the vast amount of material that today fills many a computer drive.
As the need for a definitive history of Abbey/Cambridge United, and the fact that he would be the natural author, became evident, Andrew began the long years of study in the Cambridgeshire Collection, the University Library and elsewhere that would result in Celery & Coconuts.