History is made as new leadership team announced at Lyme Regis Football Club

New chairman Gerard Hitchcock and vice-chair Francesca Evans pictured after Lyme Regis Football Club’s annual meeting on Tuesday evening

HISTORY was made at the Davey Fort this week with the election of a new committee chairman and a woman taking over as vice-chairman of Lyme Regis Football Club for the first time.

Former player and first team manager Gerard Hitchcock took over the chairmanship from Howard Larcombe, who held the position for 14 years – the longest period in the club’s history – after serving as vice-chairman for several years.

That role was filled at this week’s annual meeting by Francesca Evans, who has been associated with the club since childhood and has served on the club committee for several years as minutes secretary and organiser of the club’s Sausage and Cider Festival.

Miss Evans, known by her nickname Chezzie at the Davey Fort, is the daughter of club president Philip Evans MBE, who has been connected with the club for 60 years.

Lyme Regis Football Club president Philip Evans MBE presents retiring chairman Howard Larcombe with his Life Membership certificate

Mr Larcombe, who was made a life member at the club’s recent presentation night, will continue to serve on the committee.

At the presentation night, Mr Evans paid tribute to Mr Larcombe’s long service, saying that he had steered the club through the most difficult time in its history as well overseeing a development programme which had seen a huge improvement in facilities at the Davey Fort.

At Tuesday’s annual meeting, Mr Evans, in his role as acting treasurer, said that COVID-19 had had a huge impact on the financial viability of the club, but they were back in a stable position thanks to the success of last year’s Sausage and Cider Festival, which raised £13,000, and the opening up of the Davey Fort for parking last summer which brought in £17,000, thanks to the extreme efforts of club stalwart Ken Hitchcock – father of new chairman Gerard Hitchcock – who sadly died a few weeks ago after a connection with the club going back nearly 70 years.

The new grandstand at the Davey Fort is to be named after Mr Hitchcock at a ceremony to be arranged and the players have clubbed together to buy a seat in his memory.

Officers elected at the annual meeting were: president Philip Evans; chairman – Gerard Hitchcock; secretary – Rob Thom; acting treasurer Philip Evans; bar manager Gerard Hitchcock; kitchen manager – Emma Blackmore; minutes secretary – Francesca Evans; bookings secretary – Gerard Hitchcock.

Julie Simier and Matt Preece were re-elected as first team and Reserves managers. Mark Bailey will continue to look after the ground pending the appointment of a groundsman.

At the presentation ceremony earlier in the month, the following awards were presented: Golden Boot – Fred Parsons; young player – Josh Daines; 1st team players’ player – Rikki Sargent; manager’s player – Rob Fellingham; Reserves’ players’ player – Cam Fowler; manager’s player – Ben Bowditch; Rovers’ players’ player – Will Meech; manager’s award – Stef Taylor; Club Champion (formerly clubman of the year) – Philip Evans.

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