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Amber Lane Talks To... Brian Williams

7 January 2018

AMBER: Hello Brian.  You are a bit of a sporting chameleon. Born in Cheshire, a follower of Yorkshire and then Surrey from a cricketing perspective, a professional footballer in Cheshire and afterwards in the Southern League with Dartford and then a Sutton supporter for more than thirty years. Can you tell me about how you started off as a footballer?BRIAN: I played for South East Cheshire Schoolboys with Frank Blunstone (Chelsea and England) and from there I went to Prestbury in the Macclesfield League and scored quite a few goals, this brought me to the attention of the local Cheshire League clubs and I played for Congleton, Buxton and Stafford Rangers in the Cheshire League. In those days there were only two semi-pro leagues the Cheshire League and the Southern League. I also played for the Royal Air Force during my time doing National Service.AMBER: How did you end up at Dartford?BRIAN: I worked for Hovis in Macclesfield and Head Office was in London so when they offered me a job we moved to the capital. The Secretary of the Cheshire League got in touch with the Secretary of the Southern League and he put me in touch with Dartford, where I played for the last three years of my semi-pro football at their old Watling Street ground.AMBER: Where would you say you played your best football?BRIAN: Stafford Rangers, I played a blinder against them for Congleton and they signed me the following season.AMBER: So, how did you start to get involved with the U's?BRIAN: During my National Service I met George Seymour, who became a good friend, and when I moved to London we picked up the friendship again and it was he who said "I have just the club for you when you finish playing" and he was right!! What he did not realise was that I wouldn't finish playing until I was 54,  I played for Sainsburys in the London Business League for twenty years.   Vic Hazel ran the team and he was the father of Ian Hazel our ex manager.AMBER: I believe Dave Hermitage was Chairman at the time and asked you to become club secretary?BRIAN: Yes, on the day I retired from Hovis Dave said Ralph Carr wants to retire and would you like to be the Secretary, I said I would be delighted and accepted.AMBER: You have served on the board of directors for more than twenty years. How do you feel the club has changed over that time?BRIAN:It has always been run in the same way, but financially it has changed a lot. When I became Secretary we had our own lottery which meant we could continue to improve the club in many ways, the National Lottery killed that and from then on it has been a struggle financially. We are so fortunate to have Paul as the manager because without him most of the changes we have made would not have been in our wildest dreams, 3g, new stand, new perimeter fence, tardis, and of course the cup runs!!AMBER: As we discussed, you have played for or followed a number of different sporting clubs but you have been associated with Sutton United for a long time now. What do you think drew you to the club and made you want to stay and to be involved?BRIAN: First of all "the people" at the heart of any club; the people are the life blood, and SUFC are blessed with as fine a set of people as you can get. Meryle and I have had so much enjoyment and pleasure out of our association with Sutton and long may it continue.

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