Sidley complete sale of seated stand

The Duffell-Cox Stand at Sidley United Football Club
The Duffell-Cox Stand at Sidley United Football Club
  • Sidley United completes sale of stand to Eastbourne United AFC
  • ‘The Duffell-Cox Stand’ name will be retained
  • Two clubs will play pre-season friendly to commemorate stand’s new home
  • Stand was built in 2008 and officially opened in 2009

Sidley United Football Club has completed the sale of its 115-seater stand to Eastbourne United AFC.

Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Premier Division side Eastbourne have also agreed to retain the ‘The Duffell-Cox Stand’ name in honour of the two Sidley players it was named after.

The two clubs have agreed to a pre-season friendly at the start of next season on a date to be announced to commemorate the stand’s new home.

A Sidley spokesman said: “Sidley United are delighted that the stand will retain its original name and will still be based in Sussex with it being made use of by a club playing at a good level of football.

“We believe we have chosen to give the stand to a club who respect its history and will continue to honour the history of both us as a club and the boys that the stand was built in memory of.

“We would like to thank Eastbourne United AFC for their assistance and support in making this possible and we hope they will find the stand is made good use of at their ground in the coming years.”

The stand has a seating capacity of 112, plus space for three wheelchairs, and is still in situ at Sidley’s former home at Gullivers, which has been closed since April 2013.

Sidley were a Sussex County Football League Division One club back then, but took a year’s break following the loss of their ground before returning to action in September 2014 as an East Sussex Football League team playing home matches at Hooe Recreation Ground.

The stand was built in summer 2008 and officially opened during a friendly against Eastbourne Borough in February 2009. It was paid for out of a memorial fund set up by the club following the tragic deaths of Sidley players Liam Cox and James Duffell in a car accident on their way home from a club training session on October 23, 2003.

Sidley announced last month they were re-listing the stand for sale after a previously interested party pulled out of a deal.

Gullivers was closed after Sidley Sports & Social Club - which Sidley United was affiliated to - ceased trading due to financial difficulties.

The ground subsequently became overgrown and the clubhouse a magnet for vandalism.

A planning application was submitted for up to 70 new homes on the disused site back in October and was supposed to have been decided on by Rother District Council’s planning committee last Thursday, but the application was withdrawn.

The application had been recommended for refusal by officers due to the loss of open, community space and had attracted 57 letters of objection, including one from Heart of Sidley, plus a petition signed by 26 residents.

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