Mike Spooner has stepped down from his role as CEO at Eastbourne Borough after 26 years of involvement with the club due to ill-health.
A club statement informed supporters that Spooner, who has been a driving force at Borough, has sadly been diagnosed with cancer and has understandably decided to resign.
John Bonar, Chairman of the Football Committee, said: “Mike is part of the fabric of the club and it is heart-breaking to hear of this sad news. Mike has helped to guide this club to where it is today.
“People do not realise how much hard work goes on behind the scenes to keep this club running and Mike was key to this. He has worked 7 days a week at the club for no remuneration – just for the love of the club.
“His knowledge of non-league football is second to none and he has always been the one who I would ask for advice. This brings everyone back to earth with a massive bang.
“I know I speak for all of the Football Committee when I say we are devastated but hope all goes well in the fight against such a terrible disease that seems to always hurt the best people.”
Lee Peskett, CIC Board Chairman, commented “Mike has worked tirelessly for Eastbourne Borough – and if ever there was something needed doing Mike would no doubt get it done. That said, Mike has always been the type of person who despite having his hands full always had the time to chat, advise, or help anyone with their responsibilities.
2I have learned so much from Mike – you can’t spend many hours travelling the length and breadth of England, or just discussing the team’s fortunes with such a knowledgeable and interesting man without some of the knowledge sinking in. I, and all the Board members, wish Mike all the best as he fights this horrible illness.”
Paul Maynard CIC Board Vice Chairman commented “During my tenure as Chairman Mike was always the first person I would go to for his sage advice. He has been hugely supportive, always willing to give up his time to chat issues through and refreshingly straightforward.
“He was instrumental at developing the community culture of Eastbourne Borough and always a positive influence, no matter what seemingly intractable challenge we faced. He will need every ounce of that positivity in the weeks and months ahead. I am immensely grateful to him for his support and wisdom over the years and I know the thoughts of everyone at the Club are with him at this time”.
Former Eastbourne manager Garry Wilson said: “This news is such a shame to hear regarding such a good man. Mike became an integral part of ‘the team’ during my time managing The Sports – and as such the club and I owe so much of the club’s success during that period to Mike’s work and assistance. I wish him well”.
Ex-boss Tommy Widdrington also said: “Mike is a fantastically loyal and intelligent man who I can honestly say it was a pleasure to work with over my years at Eastbourne Borough.”
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