Pagham chairman explains why he is stepping down

Tony Shea is stepping down as Pagham FC chairman – and says he can look back on his near decade in the role with great Lions pride.

Tony Shea, right, with Kerry Hardwell, pictured in 2018

Increasing work commitments have prompted the 50-year-old to step down, although the club hope to name a new chairman within the next week or so.

Shea says he is leaving the role with Pagham well-established in the premier division of the Southern Combination League and in a position where they could push for the title in the next two or three years.

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Under Kerry Hardwell’s management, the first team are currently doing well in the SCFL Supplementary Shield and have every chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

Shea, who lives at North Bersted, is in charge of catering at Chichester and Worthing hospitals and said his workforce had trebled in size to about 400, and it was work that was taking more of his time and energy.

“My decision to stand down as Pagham chairman was not made lightly. I had to think long and hard about it,” he told the Observer. “I still want to be involved in the club. I can help with sponsorship and other aspects of running the club. It’s a great club and I don’t want to cut my ties.”

Shea said there was a long list of people who’d helped him in the chairman’s role in the nine years he’d been doing it – and the two years he was involved at Nyetimber Lane before that – who he wanted to thank.

They included his wife Karen, who he said had ‘put up with a lot’, all committee members over the years, players, managers, sponsors and supporters.

“There are too many to mention individually but everyone who’s been involved, in whatever capacity, has really made my job easier.

“I’ve had seven managers and have only sacked one. And I think if you look at where the first team are now – we were third before this season was curtailed – I can say I’m leaving the club in a good state.

“I know fans will continue to get behind the club, and it would be nice to see a few more local people getting to games.

“I’d like to thank everyone who’s messaged me since I announced this and wish my successor good luck.”