There was hardly a dry eye in the house at our annual agm when Dave Bryant, the club’s first ever chairman, stepped down as a director and board member.
After it was announced that we would be naming our stadium after Dave for the rest of the season, he gave an emotional, heartfelt farewell speech covering the formation of the club right up until the present day.
The AGM agenda notably included the election of six board members. Re-elected by the membership were John Dolan, Christine Hamilton, Geoff Lee and Andrew Warshaw, all of whom were standing again after their terms had expired. Added to the board were Neil Lutwyche and Graham Dodd who replaced Dave and Les Gold who is also stepping down after years of invaluable and loyal commitment.
There was standing room only at Butler’s Bar for what chairman Paul Reed said was probably the best ever agm attendance, a testament to the growing membership and the work being done on and off the pitch by Gavin Macpherson and his backroom staff and our wonderful team of volunteers.
Paul said 114 members had voted in the election ballot and that Neil and Graham would give “fresh impetus” to the board as we move forward.
Paul admitted there had been a hugely disappointing end to last season but paid tribute to Andy Leese for all his hard work over six seasons. Four candidates were interviewed for the manager’s job with Gavin being the unanimous choice, joining us despite fighting off interest from another club. Crowds are already up 20 percent under Gavin on the same period last season.
Paul paid special tribute to Dave and Les, to the late Michael Lowe and to ETFC physio John Abbott who recently retired after a generation of service to move to Suffolk.
Paul explained some of the logistics involved trying to balance being competitive with financial realities and also the viability of installing an artificial pitch which was almost certainly unaffordable without external funding.
Before the Q and A session with Gavin, the agm heard from Clare Donovan, ceo of Cooking Champions, our popular new matchday food partner.
Clare revealed how the charity helps 200 people per week with food packages and how much the company aligns itself with our fan-owned ethos.
The audience also heard from John Doyle, who is stepping down as head of our youth section. In his time in charge, the youth section has burgeoned to 24 teams and John invited any would-be successors to get in touch.
Then came Dave Bryant’s emotion-packed address which covered how the club came about, the highs and lows, the passion of creating our own club and the work that went into securing our own stadium.
When he had finished, Dave (pictured), without whom Enfield Town FC as a club almost certainly wouldn’t exist today, received a lengthy and richly deserved standing ovation.
The final session featured a good-natured, respectful and often humourous Q and A with Gavin, accompanied by Sam Youngs.
Gavin paid tribute to the fan base as he did his best to answer a series of probing exchanges about tactics, formations and individual players.
Admitting that losing Jake Cass early in the season was a major body blow, he nevertheless painted a positive picture of where we stand.
“We are in very good place although it’s not lost on me that the last month hasn’t been what we would have expected,” said Gavin, ahead of course of our 3-0 win at Canvey Island.
“We have a team in the playoff places that’s working very hard to regain our momentum. I think from a betting perspective we were destined to finish 14th but I don’t mind defying the odds. My mindset is extremely positive.”