Seasiders go into new season in a strong financial position

Howard Larcombe
Club chairman Howard Larcombe, serving a record 13 years in office

LYME Regis Football Club go into the new season in a stronger financial position than at any time in its long history, members were told at its annual general meeting.

The interim treasurer, club president Philip Evans MBE reported that the last two years had been the most challenging he could recall due to the COVID pandemic in a period when the club was committed to finishing its £136,000 development programme.

Mr Evans told members that it cost £1,000 a month to run the club “before the lights are switched on” and reserves were badly impacted during the periods when the clubhouse was closed during lockdown.

But the club managed to meet all its financial commitments due to the support of current and ex-players who responded to an appeal to raise sponsorship funds or make a donation to help the club.

Funds were then boosted by televising the England games in the Euros and by opening up the field for parking during the summer months which had so far brought in more than £12,000.

This figure has increased to more than £15,000 since the meeting, but car parking has now been stopped for the season while the club focuses on improving the condition of the pitch for the coming season.

Mr Evans paid tribute to the services of Ken Hitchcock, who has been connected with the club for 60 years, for manning the car park.

Record profit for Sausage & Cider Festival

The club’s main fundraising event of the year, the recent Lyme Regis Sausage & Cider Festival, was also a tremendous success, raising in excess of £13,000, a record total.

As a consequence, the club was going into the new season with in excess of £30,000 in the bank, £12,000 of which has been earmarked for the resurfacing of the car park.

Mr Evans was re-elected president but said he intended to stand down as interim treasurer in February 2022 when the club intended to appoint a successor.

Club chairman Howard Larcombe was also re-elected, making him the longest serving chairman in the history of the club, having served for 13 years.

Other officers elected were: vice-chairman and bar manager – Gerard Hitchcock; secretary – Robert Thom; minutes secretary – Francesca Evans.

Former player and secretary Dave Reed, whose late father Bill Reed, was treasurer of the club for many years, has taken on two roles – membership secretary and bookings secretary.

Committee member Shelley Larcombe has been appointed to the new position of kitchen manager to oversee the catering arrangements at the club.

Committee members: Martin Rowe, Rob Larcombe, Heather Larcombe, Mark Bailey, Julien Simier, Kingsley Wellman, Joe Bond, Alex Rowe, Tim Edwards, Rob Fellingham, Peter Lowe and Martyn Wright (representing the Youth Section).

First team manager – Julien Simier; Reserve’s managers – Matt Preece and Mark Bailey; Rovers’ manager – Stefan Taylor.

Lyme Regis First Team and Reserves were supposed to start their season last weekend but this was delayed after a committee member tested positive for coronavirus. They will now start the season this Saturday (August 28) and the club’s third team, the Rovers, will start on September 4.

Woodmead Halls

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