Jack was honoured for services to football – having served the FA for nearly a quarter of a century and the club for a grand total of 54 years, and counting.

He is currently vice-chairman of the FA and an FA Council member – the latter a role he will have to give up shortly after reaching the age of 75. And he is also as busy as ever with the Rocks, instrumental running things behind the scenes at a club where he spent more than 30 years as first-team manager.

And Cook said: “I have been a supporter of Bognor Regis Town for well over 40 years and have served on the committee since 2001, so can truthfully say I know Jack as well as most people.

“His dedication to Bognor and to football as a whole makes him a truly unique person, and there is no doubt the club would not be where it is today without his commitment and leadership, for no financial reward. It is quite incredible to think that having joined Bognor as a player in his early 20s, he would go on to serve his club for well over 50 years as manager and chairman, and make such an impact on English football that he would be appointed to such senior roles as Vice Chair of the FA and Chair of the National League. To cap it all he now has a thoroughly deserved MBE for services to football.

“Even at the age of 75, Jack is still as involved as ever in his club and continues to be incredibly respected at all levels of the football world.”

Jack has previously said that he was delighted to be honoured but didn’t rush to accept. “I had a note about it a month or six weeks ago, asking if I would accept the honour. I said I’go away and think about it – I needed to think because there are an awful lot of people who do a lot of good work to keep football running who never get recognised.

“But on balance I was happy to accept it and thought it was nice recognition for what I do and might also help publicise Bognor and the work that the FA does.

“In accepting it, though, I would like to pay tribute to everyone – from players to administrators – who has helped me in all my years in football. There are far too many to mention but I have worked with some wonderful people over the years.”

Pearce said he’d now chalked up 23 years at the FA, a role which could at times be a full-time one, and had been involved in many committees and projects over the years. Two of his biggest achievements involve St George’s Park and Wembley.

He said: “The FA Council opposed a decision by the FA Board not to build St George’s Park. At that time the Council could put the Board under pressure and we convinced them it was a poor decision and the complex should be built. It wouldn’t be there now if we hadn’t pushed that – and last year I was presented by the FA with a very nice framed image of it to commemorate it being 10 years old.

“The other campaign was I closely involved in came when they wanted to sell Wembley to the owner of Fulham (Shahid Khan) a few years ago. There were people that thought it should be sold for financial reasons but quite a number who didn’t and I felt strongly about it. That was another one we won.”

Another honour for Pearce came when – in the absence of the chair – as FA vice-chairman, he headed the presentation party for the 2022 Community Shield between Manchester City and Liverpool, meeting the teams pre-match on the pitch.

Although his time on the FA Council will soon end, Pearce has been asked to chair for its first year a new board that will oversee the National League System.

As for Pearce’s football career, that started in Portsmouth as a young player. He played for Sunday League side Riga at a time when Sunday parks football was huge – they’d often get a few hundred people watching them. He went on to play for Fareham – briefly – and then for Gosport Borough.

Then Dennis Edwards, the new manager at Bognor, took him and four other Portsmouth-area players to Nyewood Lane. “And the rest is history,” Pearce told Sussex World.

In 1976, with the Rocks staring at relegation from the Southern League, Pearce became player-manager.

They had six games to save themselves – and did. Within the next decade they grew and grew and in the 1980s made national headlines with FA Cup runs, one of which saw Swansea City perish in a Nyewood Lane replay.

Pearce had an unbroken run as Rocks manager until 2007, remaining after that as general manager then returning to the dugout in 2017, stepping down again to let Robbie Blake take the reins in 2022.

He is as busy as ever at Nyewood Lane, making sure things go smoothly off the pitch while all the time pushing for support to help improvements to the ground to make sure the club can survive and prosper at a good level of non-league football.