Life Member Profile: Roy Ashpole

Life Member Profile: Roy Ashpole

Roy (pictured centre) was born in England and came to Australia when he was 7, moving into the Hornsby area just before the era of decimal currency. His interest in football piqued when he started playing at the age of 13 with friends at his club and school. Roy only ever played for Hornsby RSL and stopped playing in 2007. Across his career he played everywhere from striker to goalkeeper. When describing his flexibility in pitch positions Roy stated he was “Jack of all, Master of none”

Roy has a huge connection to Hornsby RSL right from his young playing days. He coached a kid’s side for 6 years taking them through from the 12s to the 18s. He joined the club committee and was also on the youth club committee. Within the club he undertook various roles including publicity officer, social secretary, treasurer, manager, assistant coach, secretary, and president. His loyalty to Hornsby RSL is undeniable as he has been with them for a remarkable 45 years.  

Roy’s involvement with Northern Suburbs Football Association (NSFA), or as it was previously known Ku-ring-gai District Soccer Association (KDSA), began in the mid 90s, in which he held an assortment of roles, including being Premier One team liaison officer 1995-1997, 2002-2009, 2016-2017, All Age chairman 1999-2002, 2011- 2012, 2016-2017, Promotions Officer 2003, Treasurer 2004-2006, All Age Registrar/Recorder 2007-2010, in charge of All Age Premier league 2003-2009, Chairman of men’s football committee 2013 and Vice President 2013-2015.

As Treasurer Roy took great pride in being a volunteer and being able to lead a committee that worked strongly and efficiently. “We formed a little finance committee which has been expanded on by the current board to do the financial work.” Within the Treasury, Roy and his team “authorised the payments and checked to make sure everything was running smoothly.” They also obtained the lease of Mills Park and renovated it for use as Northern Tigers Home Ground.

Roy “had a team for many years in the Premier League” and thus felt it was his duty to look after the Premier League competition. Within this role he collated scores, created tables, liaised with the other clubs, and was well known and recognised around the premier league teams at the time. Roy emphasised that they “just tried to do the best thing for the Premier league we could do. Try and get them the best grounds, getting referees, making sure the teams were all okay and were following the rules and guidelines as well as not abusing officials.”

Roy served as Vice President when he overtook promoted President Chris Rayner. In detailing his time Roy stated that “I enjoyed my time as VP, chaired a few appeals, got to meet people, and established rapport with our local MP in our area.” As chair of the appeals board Roy found it interesting to find out how the players, officials and referees interacted with the PD&DC committee. He had the role of determining whether the referee, the player or both were correct. “It was a challenge but very much worthwhile and I think we almost always got the right decision done.”

When asking him about all the roles he served across his life Roy stated that “I wanted to do this, I enjoyed it and while I enjoyed it I kept doing it.”

Roy served in the KDSA during the three major office location moves and remembers this as a prominent aspect of his time at the association. Roy placed emphasis on the growth of the association which started in a noisy little dingy office above a motor repair shop to where NSFA is now down at Bridge Road at Pymble.

Within his time at KDSA Roy was especially proud of his role in being a part of the Mills park process, office relocations, the original incorporated board/committee and starting to overlook the growth of the association.

Roy has worked for Football NSW for 24 years, starting in 1998 after a call from fellow NSFA Life Member Rodney Woods, telling him to ring Bill Cunningham who offered him a job. Roy has worked for Football NSW ever since and holds the role today as Administrator of the Football Corner. He is responsible for merchandising in club jerseys, shorts, socks and balls. It is a job which has kept football ever present in Roy’s life and one he considers a “Full time hobby.”

Roy still manages his All Age 3 team and is ever-present in Hornsby RSL who had their 60th anniversary a couple of years ago.

When asked, what being a life member means to him, Roy stated that “It’s like a thank you or a piece of praise for spending hours of your own time working on local football.” On being involved in NSFA as a key member for so many years, Roy simply and humbly described it as a “huge pleasure to give something back.”

We thank Roy for all his service towards the game of football, his club Hornsby and the NSFA, and wish him the best for his future in football.

The Northern Suburbs FA has existed since 1957 (formerly KDSA) and as we enter our 65th year we are seeking support to help us collate information, digitise records and present this on a specific NSFA History website.

In partnership with Macquarie University we have commenced phase 1 of this project, which aims to compile photos and information on each NSFA Life Member.

If you have any information on NSFA Life Members (particularly before 1980) or would like to provide assistance on the larger NSFA History project, please email

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