Ringmer AFC pay tribute to man who served club for 50 years

Ringmer progressed into the third round of the County Cup after an excellent first half display that saw the Rhinos score six unanswered goals by the interval against Billingshurst Reserves - but the win has been overshadowed by sad news of a club stalwart passing away.

Chris Christoff during his heyday, in which he served Ringmer with distinction
Chris Christoff during his heyday, in which he served Ringmer with distinction

Within minutes of the start, it was clear that Ringmer’s structured attacking play was a mismatch for Billingshurst’s youthful side.

First half goals came largely thanks to Rob Le Cras’ range of passing from his deep lying midfield role, the wide play of Jacob Ashwood and Tom Stevenson on the left and Ben Gardner and Connor Ghosh on the right – and critically Marcin Ruda’s ability to play a pinpoint final pass.

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Centre back Ryan Doyle grabbed an unlikely and perhaps debateable first half hat-trick. The first was a tidy finish from a corner, the second a great control and volley, and the final effort a dubious conversion from the goal line with many teammates and bystanders convinced Ruda’s long range delivery had already crossed the goal line.

Tom Stevenson converted two very well-crafted goals, and man of the match Sam Sowter’s excellent centre forward play saw him race clear and finish a one on one with great composure.

The second half saw Ringmer’s advantage extended further, Sowter converting a Gardner cross for his second.

The only surprise was that this was Ringmer’s only additional goal as the dominance continued without reward.

To their credit Billingshurst converted two well worked chances in the final five minutes to ‘win’ the second half as both sides threw caution to the wind.

Ringmer play their final fixture of the calendar year tomorrow when Westfield visit the Caburn Community Ground for a 1pm start in the Mid Sussex Senior Charity Cup.

But in other news, it is with great sadness that Ringmer AFC report the passing of Chris Christoff at 95 years of age. The club said: "He was an outstanding administrator at Ringmer FC for nearly 50 years. Chris was particularly prominent in the club’s most successful period during the 1970s, which established Ringmer as a leading club in the higher echelons of Sussex football.

"His commitment and kindness will be missed a great deal and our sympathies, at this time, are with his wife Jean and children Martin and Patricia."