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Club News

Amber Lane Talks To... Phil Letts

31 December 2017

Club News

Amber Lane Talks To... Phil Letts

31 December 2017

AMBER: Hi Phil, you bear a famous name in terms of the club's history, I suppose it was inevitable you would become a supporter?

PHIL: Completely inevitable, like it is with my son and daughter. I feel that the club is in my blood and cannot imagine having an affinity for any other. I think it took no more than half a dozen games for me to be hooked with or without any family loyalty. Hence, the importance of getting people to come along and experience what we have to offer.

AMBER: Do you remember your first Sutton game?

PHIL: I must have been to lots of games before I can really remember. However, I do recall beating Whyteleafe at Tooting and Mitcham in a Surrey Senior cup final. What I can't remember is the date. Mark Frake will have to help you there.

AMBER: Your grandfather, Andrew, played an enormous part in shaping the club we have today. You must be very proud of him.

PHIL: Like everything he did, he was obsessive. And the football club was one of his obsessions. He dedicated a huge amount of time and funds and fulfilled many roles within the club. I am always proud when you think about his vision and the drive he had to realise it. It was never about the money, it was about being the best we could be.

We always talked about the games, how he did things and how he and others went about making the club so special. He always believed that the most important person at the club was the manager and he made it his priority to recruit the right ones. He often spoke about how he approached and persuaded them, in particular Sid Cann and more recently John Rains. He was a Sutton United supporter first and foremost and everything he did, whether it worked or not, was always with one aim of being successful. The more I get involved the more I see how much he and many, many others have done both in the past and present and they have all made an enormous contribution to our club.

AMBER: Andrew would have been thrilled by last season's exploits in the cup and seeing so many people going through the gates week after week.

PHIL: He would have loved our exploits in the cup. Not only beating league opposition (which really meant lots to him), but all the financial rewards and media coverage that have come our way. He strongly believed that whilst you should always aspire to be the best you can be, it was also important to know where you belong and this always meant living within your means. We have all seen clubs with unsustainable budgets come and go, and he was adamant this would never be us. He would have been very excited about our growing fan base and the sustainable opportunities this offers the club both on and off the pitch. He was always amazed by how many volunteers give up their own time for the club, and this part of the club is as strong as ever.

AMBER: Are there other members of your family involved in any way?

PHIL: My younger brother William is as keen a supporter as me, albeit his involvement has lessened since he began coaching himself. He was the manager Corinthian-Casuals reserve team until recently but I hope he can find more time in the future.

AMBER: Were you involved in any official capacity before joining the board?

PHIL: After leaving university I had supported Dave Farebrother as ground safety Officer, but this was at times difficult with balancing work commitments. Dave will testify to this!!!

AMBER: And do you have a specific role now as a director?

PHIL: I now have the specific role of being the director responsible for the Knights Academy. This is a hugely exciting development at the Club and one which not only supports our community programme, but could genuinely provide the opportunity for students to progress through to the first team. Knights run this on site where the students can combine study with excellent coaching and mentoring. Most of you will know Marvin Williams who is managing the day to day running of the programme and this involves getting the best out of eighty plus boys. This is something new and I am really excited about seeing it go from strength to strength. I feel it is an honour to represent the club and do so with real pride.

AMBER: Sutton United is in the Letts family blood. What would you say to anyone with an interest in football who maybe hasn't been down to see the club before?

PHIL: What I would say to anyone thinking of coming along is quite simple. The manager, his staff and players are totally committed to the club and win, lose or draw everyone gives everything for the cause. As I said before, irrespective of the fabulous season ticket prices, watching this team is great and I challenge anyone to watch a couple of games and say that they haven't got the bug. Everyone involved is completely behind the club and whilst I may be biased, the whole place has a real family feel and it is an amazingly special place.

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