AN excellent end to Lyme Regis Football Club’s season was celebrated at our annual presentation night and dinner last Saturday.
Having not been able to play at the Davey Fort for 19 weeks due to wet weather, the Seasiders certainly made up for it in recent days, with the First Team finishing third in the Devon & Exeter League’s Division 1 with hopes of promotion to the premiership, which will be the highest standard of football the club has ever played at.
The Reserves also retained the Football Express Cup and, this week, the Firsts won the Grandisson Cup for the first time – so there has been plenty to celebrate.
I also had an extra reasons to celebrate myself, after being awarded the Jack Loveridge Trophy for clubperson of the year at last weekend’s dinner.
I was beyond proud to pick up the award. My dad served as chairman of the club for 10 years, while I was between the ages of eight and 18, so I practically grew up at the Davey Fort. As a kid I’m not sure I paid much attention to matters on the pitch, but instead spent Saturdays running around the ground and playing games with the other children – my older sister far too cool to join in, of course.
As we grew up, Zoe and I would decorate the club for the many theme nights and fundraisers dad would concoct (Millenium Ball comes to mind – it took us hours to spray paint those stars!) and we both played for a while in the now-defunct ladies squad, the Lyme Lazers. We’d paint our faces to cheer on the Seasiders in cup finals, join in with songs on the minibus home (I’m not sure I was quite old enough for that) and dance the night away in celebration. I even had my first drink at the club.
And things have pretty much stayed that way ever since (minus the face paint). After dad retired as chairman, he was made a life-member and now serves as president, and I joined the committee as minutes secretary and fundraiser. We still go and watch as many Saturday games as possible together.
When I think back to my childhood days at the Davey Fort, the clubhouse is practically unrecognisable today – extended social facilities, changing rooms, kitchen and more changes to come this summer, plus we painted it that nice mint colour!
Players, too, have come and gone but the club itself always remains the same. I know I can always rely on others to help at events and look out for one another. The same spirit, the same atmosphere, the same sense of community. Once a Seasider, always a Seasider!