Barnes quits as Felixstowe chairman

FELIXSTOWE & Walton United are searching for a new chairman following the resignation of Tony Barnes.

Barnes announced his resignation as chairman of the club with immediate effect on Thursday night.

Phil Griffiths, the club’s Press officer, said: “It came as a massive shock to us all. Tony has been an integral part of the club since the merger in 2000 of Felixstowe Town and Walton United and has led from the front as the club has developed and he will be missed!”

Barnes told the club committee members of his decision to step down late on Wednesday evening, citing personal reasons and not because of any dispute or disagreement with the football club, he asked the committee to respect his decision and not try to change his mind.

Club secretary Adrian Hakes called an emergency meeting of the committee on Thursday evening to discuss the situation.

Hakes, who works closely with Barnes on a day-to-day basis, expressed his sadness and regret at his friend’s decision but said: “As a club we must respect Tony’s decision. It is obviously one he has not made lightly and he leaves behind a strong unit. There are many things happening in the club with a hugely successful youth set up, a strong senior section and the potential to bring a fantastic future for football on the Peninsula.

“Vice-chairman Colin Butcher will oversee the running of the committee and club affairs in the immediate future and short-term while the club move to elect a new chairman.

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Butcher said: “I count Tony as a friend as well as a work colleague and associate at the football club. It is a sad day for us all. Tony leaves a legacy of a solid football club with a fantastic future ahead and we as a committee will strive to ensure the club moves forward.”

The committee discussed a successor but will make not rush into making a decision.

Griffiths added: “The club want to ensure we attract the right person with the same ambitions as the football club in developing football in Felixstowe & Walton. The club run over 20 sides at all levels and age groups, it involves well over 250 children and adults throughout the season. The chairman’s role is a high-profile position within the community and the club will need a strong leader in the coming years as the prospect of a new ground gets ever closer.”

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