BARNSLEY’S Albert Rennison and his wife Shirley had a date in the capital last week when Albert was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Albert has been refereeing local football matches for over 50 years and his hard work and dedication were recognised last year when he won the Exceptional Achievement Award at the Proud of Barnsley Awards.

Albert’s half-century of service was also recognised last year by the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA when he was awarded the FA Long Service to Football Award.

Of his visit to the palace, Albert said: “It was a lovely day, my wife Shirley loved it. We met some lovely people, enjoyed a lovely buffet and went around the gardens.

“We saw King Charles, Queen Camilla, Princess Anne and Princess Eugenie.”