Can you tell us a little bit about your role at the club?
I’m the Club Shop Manager: as Del Boy would say I’m in the import export trade bringing in the finest merchandise there is to offer. With the help from Jon, Mumma Haff, Dave & Poppy this season, we have the club shop open on match days for both men’s 1st team and women’s 1st team. I also have the merchandise available online for those that can’t always get to the games and for those that live abroad. I’m also involved with the supporters club – nowadays I run a stall at local fetes raising money for the club with an inflatable-goal football competition. In the past I have run quizzes and karaoke/disco nights.
What made you become a volunteer for the club?
It was July 2011, I had come down to watch the double header Lewes vs Essex Utd (Mark Bright’s Only Way is Essex team) and Lewes Women vs Southampton. During the men’s game I popped up to the shop to see Ben Ward (a club director) who was running it at the time. We got chatting and I said that if he ever needed a hand I’d be happy to help. Four games later I was made Club Shop Manager and as they say the rest is history, Nine years on I’m still here!
What’s your earliest memory of the Dripping Pan?
1991, aged 11… I’d just started at Priory school and I found the Dripping Pan nearby. The ground looked very different back then with the green stand & grass banks all around. The was no club shop back in those days!
Did you play football yourself? (And were you any good?!)
I played youth football with Bridge View (pictured above – spot the Baz!!!!???), before playing for Danehill then Buxted on Saturday’s. I played for a few teams on a Sunday before taking over as Chairman/Player/Manager of FC Glynde. I played mainly down the flanks with the occasional opportunity to play up front or in goal (wherever we were short). I did manage to play one season for Lewes FC reserves, although I wasn’t particularly good and way out of my level. Jimmy Quinn had just left the club and all the men’s 1st team left with him – meaning the reserve team became the 1st team and no one to play for the reserves! We’d just finished a game on the Convent Field, behind the Dripping Pan, and the club asked we would like to play for the reserves. I jumped at the chance and brought a few friends along with me! We won the odd game and managed to keep the club out of the relegation battle. The following season the club went back to normal, so I went back to being a fan again.
What’s your all time favourite match? (And why!?)
Brighton Reserves 4 Tottenham Hotspur reserves 4. In and around 1997, Brighton were using the Dripping Pan for their reserve team whilst the 1st team was ground-sharing with Gillingham. We had the likes of Watford and my team Tottenham coming down to play here. There was a decent sized crowd in the sun on a Wednesday afternoon. Stuart Nethercott scored in injury time with probably best headed goal I’ve ever seen to make it 4-4. The best Lewes game was beating Mangotsfield in the FA Cup replay to face Stoke FC in the 1st round proper… there were unbelievable scenes in a packed-out Dripping Pan.
What’s your all-time fave piece of club merch? (And why!?)
Probably the dart flights. Clive Burgess started up a Lewes FC darts team, and we entered a local league. After one season I took it over and got all the players Lewes FC dart flights, they were so popular I had to bring them into the club shop.
If you could design and sell one new thing for the club, what would it be? (And why!?)
Retro shirts. I’ve been looking for ages to do this. It’s a case of getting the right era and style shirt and finding a supplier that’s affordable to do it. This will happen one day!
If you had to be stuck in a lift with one person – past or present – at the club (coaches, players, board, fans, volunteers, anyone!), who would it be and why?
Treacle (although it would need to be a big lift with us two in it!). Not only would he have stories of his parents Ethel and Gordon and their adventures at the club, but also just to talk bonfire, beer and probably about his favourite team Manchester United. He’s like the big brother I never had.
Complete the following…
“If I’m not at the Dripping Pan on a weekend, then I’m….” … either working, at an away day, watching a game somewhere or spending the day with my lovely wife.