Describe Lewes FC in three words:
Grassroots community club
What’s your first memory of The Dripping Pan?
Dropped in on my first game in about 1990. Think it was home to Saffron Walden FC. About 50 people there plus half a dozen dogs. It was pre-Philcox Stand and before the main stand was rebuilt, so much more ‘quaint’ than it is now…quite ramshackle actually. When I first took my kids a few years on, they spent the whole game rolling down the grass banks on the Mountfield Road side – although the bars were there to lean on, there was no fencing so all the kids ducked underneath and off they went. In the summer, you could take your pint up there and perch on the grass.
Did you play football yourself? (And were you any good?!)
In answer to the first question, I usually went in goal in school teams, because I was tall – I had no other goalie qualities! When I came down to Sussex in 1986 I joined Heathfield Spurs B team. First game I went in goal and at HT we were losing 4-0. The skipper put someone else in goal and stuck me in midfield where I could do less harm (we had no sub so they were lumbered with me). FT 4-4! I’d like to say I turned the game but if I did it was only by coming out of goal. I played one more game for them – again as midfield dynamo – away at St Leonards; there was a gale off the sea, the rain was horizontal, it was freezing cold and we lost 6-0. Strangely they didn’t call me again.
In answer to the second question, yes I was brilliant.
What’s your high and low of being a Lewes FC fan?
The high would probably be the home replay against Mangotsfield in the FA Cup, under the lights. The Pan was absolutely rammed (1800 fans) and we won 2-0 to reach the First Round proper. Some guy called Ross Standen was in goal for us. It probably wasn’t the greatest game in terms of quality but it was dramatic, there was a fantastic atmosphere and it earned us that away game at Stoke City.
The low point would be that whole time when the club was on the brink of folding. I am so pleased that a group of Rooks fans came forward and led the rescue. The club now is something to be proud of even if there is still so much more we must do with it.
Why did you first volunteer at the club – and has that reason changed over time? (How many volunteer roles have you had!?)
I think about 6 years ago? My main role has been to help run the Hospitality for visiting Directors, officials and also match sponsors, on match days for the men’s team: you get to meet loads of people including some great Dripping Pan characters. I have also helped in the club shop sometimes, have worked on the bar (when the Supporters Club used to run it for events like the Bonfire Cup) and have helped to run the penalty shootout stall at various fairs and outdoor events, to raise a bit of cash for the club. Recently I have started to train up as the Match Secretary so that I can do that role next season, WHEN we start playing again at the Pan.
If you had to be stuck in the lift with one person at the club (player/director/owners/coach/volunteer) who would it be and why?!
Are you referring to the wood-panelled lift up to the Directors’ Executive Skylounge at the Dripping Pan? I would love to have a go in that lift sometime. I would probably go for the Golden Goal Girl – Ethel Treagus! She has been a Rooks fan for 70 years + and what she doesn’t know about the history of the club is probably not worth knowing!
Complete the following sentence: “If I’m not at the Dripping Pan on a weekend, I’m…
…following the away game on Twitter!”