This weekend sees us say goodbye to our Club Secretary, Ray Ward, who is stepping down after six years in the role. Ray told us at the start of this season that he would be retiring this summer and he has been working closely over the last few months with his successor, Tim Allison, to ensure a smooth handover.
Ray brought a wealth of administrative experience when he took office in 2014, having previously been the Honorary Secretary and later Chief Executive of the Surrey County Football Association for over 15 years. That experience has proved invaluable on a number of occasions in recent years, with the role of club secretary becoming more complicated and demanding year on year. Ray is a long-standing supporter of the club, having seen his first game back in 1963, and was frequently seen at matches when time allowed. Last season he divided his time between Sutton, Liverpool and Norwich City, where his son-in-law is the Sporting Director.
Ray says, "It has been a hectic period for the club since I took over as Club Secretary:- a new 3G pitch; our highest ever finish in the national league pyramid; going further in the FA Cup than ever before (5th Round); hosting an England international and competing in both Scotland and Ireland. I would like to thank many people for their help, assistance, guidance and friendship during the last six seasons, without whom the role would have been so much more difficult."
Club Chairman Bruce Elliott commented, "Ray Ward, another who has given up so much of his time to help the club with the unbelievable quantity of administration needed to fulfil the onerous role of Club Secretary, a voluntary position, of course, at Sutton United. I have worked closely with Ray since he took on the job and have on many occasions asked his advice on various matters and if he doesn't know the answer himself then he certainly knows somebody who does! Needless to say he has offered this advice and guidance going forward to his successor Tim Allison, who the club are most grateful to for agreeing to become Club Secretary. I am sure Ray will not miss having his evening meal interrupted by an emergency phone call to sign a new player before an imminent deadline. In addition to fulfilling the demanding role of Club Secretary, Ray has also taken on a host of other tasks at the club from refurbishing toilets, carrying out repairs, organising the car park on match days and many other jobs too numerous to mention as well as being an enthusiastic member of the Management Committee.
Huge thanks therefore from me personally and from everyone at the club for all his hard work and commitment to Sutton United Football Club. Enjoy your retirement Ray."
Tim, who is also company secretary of Sutton United Football Club Ltd, takes over officially in his new role on 1st June.
Ray's final act as Club Secretary is to contribute his list of top ten tunes to our growing musical "library":-
|You'll Never Walk Alone||Gerry & the Pacemakers|
|True Colours ||Cindi Lauper|
|Always On My Mind ||Pet Shop Boys|
|Enola Gay ||OMD|
|Night Boat to Cairo ||Madness|
|Hung up ||Madonna|
|I Think We're Alone Now ||Lene Lovich|
|Bring on the Dancing Horses ||Echo & The Bunnymen|
|Poker Face ||Lady Gaga|