Banbury United’s Phil Lines has announced he is stepping down as chairman of the club he has loved for well over half a century.
Having started out as a supporter of his home-town club in the 1960s, Banbury-born Lines became a player and later their manager – finally taking up the role of chairman which he describes as the stuff of dreams.
Although the last two seasons at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium have been curtailed by the pandemic, Lines’ final year as chairman saw the Puritans reach the first round of the FA Cup.
But he’s now made the decision that it’s time for someone else to take over the reins.
“After four years as chairman of Banbury United Football Club, I feel the time is right for me to stand down,” said Lines, who began his football career at the Puritans in 1972 and went onto play 354 times for the club.
“I have been immensely proud to hold this prestigious position.
“During my tenure, I have worked tirelessly, along with fellow board members, to maintain and improve the club at Step 3 level of the football pyramid.
“My first association with the club was as a young supporter back in the 1960s.
“To go on to play for many years in the club’s first team and later to become manager for several years, before eventually becoming club chairman was really a dream come true.”
“I have been very fortunate and privileged to be able to achieve this with my home- town club,” added Lines, who enjoyed spells as manager from 1983 to 1988 and again in 1998.
“I would like to thank so many great people, including the friends who have supported and helped me over this long journey.
“I wish the club, management, players, board members and the supporters all the best for the future.”
The club wish to thank Phil for his commitment to Banbury as chairman since 2017 and over the many years of his involvement.
Stephen Barlow, secretary of the Community Benefit Society, the supporters owned entity that owns the club, said: “The club has benefited greatly from Phil’s knowledge of non-League football over the past four years.
“Like all clubs there is hours of unseen voluntary work that goes into the day to day running of a club and Phil has worked tirelessly to move the club forwards. We are all very grateful to him for his support and guidance.”
The Board of Directors will now consider its next steps with the opportunity to put any plans to supporters at the club AGM which will be held at the end of July.