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Allan with club stalwart and groundsman Kev Ash (left)

 Allan Westray to step down as Cottesmore chairman


Rat Race Young Mucker 2016

 


by Bob Feetham

 

We thought it would never happen. But the end of an era will become reality on Wednesday (May 4) when Allan Westray steps down, as chairman of Cottesmore Amateurs.

Allan WestrayAfter more than six decades, the popular 75-year-old will tell the club's annual meeting that now is the time for someone else to take up the reins.

 

He admits that he will feel emotion when he declines the position he has renewed each year for the last quarter of a century but insists: "It is the right decision. Having given it all a great deal of thought, I realise the enthusiasm no longer persists.

 

"Of course it's not been an easy conclusion but I don't want to feel obliged to have to be involved. It is time to wake up on a Saturday morning  and make my own decision about what I want to do that day - even if that's to go shopping!"

 

It's been a remarkable 61 years since Allan first signed as a 14-year-old for then chairman Tom Coggan in 1955. An outside left (one of those proper positions), he retired as a player 23 years later having played in 461 games and scored 234 goals, including 40 penalties.

 

He served as secretary for 27 years (1962-89) before taking up his current role.

 

Along the way, Allan has collected 19 other minor jobs which include running the 200 club, taking care of kit, manning the tea hut and helping maintain facilities. Indeed, one concession will be to help groundsman Kev Ash - but there will be nothing of a permanent nature.

 

The end of an era has arrived!

 

'I thought we were finished' (Our previous interview with Allan)

 

http://www.srsn.co.uk/sport/football/the-moment-i-thought-we-were-finished

 

From one ball to two!

The remarkable

Westray story

by number

14 - age when he made his Cottesmore debut  1955

75 - age when he 'will hang up his Cottesmore boots!'

23  - years as a player 1955-78

461 - games played

234 - goals, inc 40 penalties

27 - years as secretary 1962-89

25 - years as chairman 1991-2016

61 - years with the club 1955-2016

11 - number of prime ministers in Allan's time at the club!

Nowadays, clubs just wouldn't countenance relying on one football. There are always enough to keep the game flowing - a fact which brought a smile to Allan's face when he perused a Cottesmore committee minute from 1963.

 

It records that the committee, after long and solemn discussion, agreed to purchase a SECOND ball - provided it came from the same Leicester sports shop which had provided the first. Times move on!

Tasty additions to tea hut menu 

Allan, and his good friend, the late Gordon McNeill, who he affectionately describes as 'his right hand man,' always ran a tasty tea hut, particularly when it came to chicken soup! Now, however, he is delighted to report that the new refreshment managers, Trevor Lovell and partnerJeanette have added another couple of delicacies - hot burgers and bacon rolls.

 

Dedicated groundsmen

 

The magnificent Rogues Park playing surface, initiated when Croatia trained there ahead of the European Championships, has been maintained by four dedicated groundsman during Allan's tenure - Mal Croson, Bill Plant, Mal Kettle and, latterly, Kev Ash. "Their efforts have given us a wonderful pitch," says Allan.

 

 Cottesmore boss Neil Miller salutes 'nicest of men.'

 

Neil Miller

 

 “For me, Allan is one of the nicest men you can meet in any walk of life, not just football. He has made me and my family so very welcome at Cottesmore. What he has done, both boy and man, for Cottesmore wouldn’t be seen at many other clubs. 

 

"There certainly aren’t many left like him. If we replace him with someone who has half the work and commitment ethic,  the club will continue to move forward. He is a massive reason that I remained at the club after Gary Drake left. I hope to see him at games next season and he can feel relaxed. I hope we can also give him something back.

 

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. He has been so very good to me and my family. He is also so pleased to see my daughter and always has a chocolate bar waiting for her. I don't think that without him, and a few others, but Allan mainly, that Cottesmore Football Club would still be going.

 

"He can look back and be proud of what he has achieved.”

 

Allan Westray

Seen here are the Cottesmore Amateurs squad of 1979/80 who did the treble, winning the Melton and Rutland League, K.O. Cup and Benevolent Cup. They are, from left, back row: Gordon McNeill, Mark O'Donnell, Dave Bradshaw, Carmelo Romeo, Steve Brown, Ron Ward, Andrew Stafford, Michael Sharman, Allan Westray (manager); front - Tony Marshall, Kevin Nimmons, Steve Robinson, Graham Measures, Mick Nimmons and Dennis Wheway.     

 

Allan Westray

 

1958/59 Rutland League runners up, Cottesmore Amateurs, from left: back row: Smokey Glover (secretary), Mal Walker, Derek Winter, Bill Wade, Trevor Hallam, Frank Revell and Tom Coggan (chairman); front - Peter Slater, Brian Coggan, Alfie Hallam, Tommy Jones and Allan Westray.

 

Allan crowd

 

A memorable Easter from 1960 when Cottesmore Amateurs won the Rutland League Benevolent Cup. With fans looking on, they are, from left: back row: Peter Slater, Gordon Smith, Tommy Jones, Gordon McNeill, Derek Winter, Trevor Hallam and a young Kenny Hallam (complete with rosette); front - Brian Coggan, Graham Stafford, Frank Revell (capt), Alfie Hallam, Allan Westray and, with ball, Mick Nimmons.

 

Burghley Game and Country Fair 2016


Published: 29/04/2016





 
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