Dripping Yarns wih David Arnold

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THE Lewes FC Supporters Club sponsored the Ryman Premier league game against AFC Hornchurch last Saturday.

James Boyes took a photo of Ethel ‘Golden Goal’ Treagus and Mark ‘Chunky’ Cornford presenting their Lewes Man of the Match selection, Nic Ciardini, with a bottle of bubbly after the game.

Ethel and Chunky are long-standing members of the Supporters Club Committee and do invaluable work in assisting the club’s fundraising activities.

Earlier in the afternoon, Ethel had beckoned me over to show me a rather special memento she had come across in a recent rummage through her collection of Treagus family photographs.

It’s a delightful snap from yesteryear and depicts a very young Ethel decked out in an impressive football strip.

She tells me she had just played in a football match and, upon returning to her Lewes home, decided to demonstrate her throw-in technique to her mum and grandmother.

Ethel believes she was probably just into her teens when the picture was taken in the early 1950s.

“We used to have mixed teams of boys and girls in football playing on recreation grounds and at school in those days” she recalled, “and I like to think I was pretty good for a girl.”

A LEWES LEGEND

Football and Ethel have stayed connected all through her life. She is an avid Manchester United fan, though we all know her real passion is following the Mighty Rooks at home and away as often as possible.

Her late husband Gordon is a true Lewes legend who played for the club for many years. He’s pictured here in action at the Dripping Pan in another photograph borrowed from Ethel’s family album.

Ethel told me Gordon lived near her on the Landport estate but that as a youngster she didn’t fancy him at all. That all changed when Gordon started playing for the Rooks.

“He started out with the 3rd XI and I suddenly saw him in a new light,” said Ethel. “He was so handsome and impressive racing up and down the Dripping Pan.

“We soon got talking and found we got on really well. Gordon became the love of my life.”

Bonfire Night in Lewes always brings back a very bad memory for Ethel. On November 5, 1947 she was taking part in a procession when a rowdy spectator pushed her, causing her torch to set light to her costume.

“I was terribly badly burned.” said Ethel. “I spent a long time in the Queen Victoria Hospital at East Grinstead being treated in the specialist burns unit.

“I was already a big fan of the Rooks and one thing that really cheered me up were hospital visits by Lewes FC football players such as Norman Wickens and Ben Simmons.”

Not surprisingly, Ethel’s message for the Lewes Bonfire Boys and Girls and the crowds that will turn out to see them parade tomorrow night is to take great care and stay safe.

TAKEN ON BOARD

More than 80 shareholders came along to the Rook Inn for last week’s first-ever AGM of Lewes Community Football Club. Three new directors were elected to the Board: Lee Cobb, Stuart Fuller and Terry Parris.

With only two directors (Alex Leith and Ben Ward) standing down, it means the Board now has seven directors. The fourth nominee for a directorship was Keith Rapley who was unsuccessful this time around but can, should he wish, stand again for a place next year.

The vibe we all took away from the evening in the Rook Inn was a very positive and optimistic one.

Although the news was embargoed media-wise until the following morning (Friday, October 28), shareholders were appraised of the launch of the exciting Support & Save initiative under which scores of local shops and services are offering exclusive savings to shareholders of Lewes FC.

While the voting slips were being counted, Board member Eddie Ramsden gave a run-down of the club’s financial position.

This appears to be pretty robust for this season, although he stressed there was absolutely no room for complacency.

The key to success lies in increasing our fan base so every new spectator that each one of us can introduce to the Dripping Pan experience is another step toward the goal of sustainable non-league football at the highest possible level for the Rooks.

DAVID ARNOLD

PS. It was very encouraging to see that many more people have, over the last week, bought a share in Lewes FC. By this weekend we should have more than 500 shareholders. For as little as £30 per annum you can earn yourself a share certificate and the unique Lewes FC owner’s badge, plus you can then participate in Support & Save where the discounts could very soon pay off your outlay. Definitely sounds like Win, Win, Win to me!