Bexhill United chairman steps down after six years

New Bexhill United chairman Graham Cox (left) with his predecessor Bill Harrison. Picture courtesy Mark Killy
New Bexhill United chairman Graham Cox (left) with his predecessor Bill Harrison. Picture courtesy Mark Killy

Bill Harrison has stepped down as chairman of Bexhill United Football Club after six years in the post.

Harrison swapped roles with Graham Cox, who was vice-chairman and is now chairman, at the club’s annual general meeting on Wednesday night.

He said: “They’re good people there and it’s always nice to work with decent people. I think we’ve brought the club on; we’ve played in the FA Vase and FA Cup, and everything’s improving all the time.”

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Bexhill have had three managers during Harrison’s time at the helm and he hopes that the current incumbent, Ryan Light, can lead the Pirates to promotion from Southern Combination League Division One next season, which will be Light’s fourth in charge.

The Pirates finished fourth in the 2018/19 campaign, only missing out on a top three finish after losing their final game, away to Mile Oak.

Bexhill’s position matched their highest placing since 1993/94 and their points tally of 70 from 32 games was the highest the club has achieved in any season in any division since joining the league, as Bexhill Town Athletic, in 1946.

The 92 league goals Bexhill scored in 2018/19 was the most the club has ever netted in a Sussex County League/Southern Combination League season and only once has the club ever conceded less league goals in a season.

“I hope this year will be a promotion place,” continued Harrison, who is also working on the project to (hopefully) bring football back to the disused Gullivers Sports Ground in Sidley.

“The manager we’ve got there now is very forward-minded. Player-wise they’re a great bunch and not just football-wise; they’re proper people as well. I think he (Light) is holding on to most of the players and those he doesn’t keep he will replace like-for-like.”

As for the other club officers, Simon Dunne will continue as treasurer and Tracy Aston as bar manager, and a couple of new faces have joined the committee.

The Devonshire Bar & Lounge in Devonshire Square, Bexhill, has agreed to be the club’s shirt sponsor again next season, which will start in early August.

Harrison added that Bexhill Cricket Club, which co-uses The Polegrove with Bexhill United, has agreed in principle to the football club laying a spectator path behind the western goal.

The football club needs to install the path to help it comply with FA ground grading regulations for the Premier Division. It will still require approval from landowner Rother District Council.

Bexhill United were also among the finalists in the Best of 1066 Community Awards at Bannatyne Spa Hotel in St Leonards last night.