NCEL: Legendary Knaresborough chairman to retire after 20 years

Terry Hewlett, centre, celebrating the 2014 League Cup win at Valley Parade (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

Terry Hewlett, centre, celebrating the 2014 League Cup win at Valley Parade (Photo: Craig Dinsdale)

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Legendary chairman Terry Hewlett declared his pride in seeing Knaresborough Town progress after announcing he will stand down at the end of the season.

Hewlett has chaired the committee at Manse Lane for 20 years and was at the forefront of the move into the semi-professional game earlier this decade.

However, the 63-year-old has decided to spend more time with his family and will relinquish the role at the club’s annual general meeting in June.

Hewlett said: “This is certainly one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make and one, I can assure you, I gave much thought to.

“To say I have been proud and privileged to be chairman of Knaresborough Town, for over 20 years now, is an understatement of the highest magnitude. In fact words cannot describe the pride I feel.”

The Manse Lane club has seen a significant change on and off the field under the leadership of Hewlett and his committee.

Terry Hewlett, right, with president Geoff Waite, second left, who died this week

Terry Hewlett, right, with president Geoff Waite, second left, who died this week

Having previously won the West Yorkshire League and West Riding County Cup, Town turned semi-professional and earned promotion into the Northern Counties East League in 2012.

The switch has seen Boro enter the FA Cup and FA Vase for a first time.

However, Hewlett’s highlight came at the end of the 2013/14 campaign when Knaresborough lifted the NCEL League Cup at Bradford City’s Valley Parade following a dramatic penalty shootout.

The outgoing chairman thanked former boss Brian Davey for guiding the club’s success and also recognised the wave the club has ridden over the last few years.

He said: “As a committee we have brought the club from where we used to have to put our own nets yo and stick the boiler on to get hot water in the bath to get into semi-professional football.

“The money that we have raised has been put into the facilities.

"I am certainly proud of what I have done and the committee should be proud as well. I just need time to step back. Twenty years is a long time.”

Hewlett’s announcement came just days before the death of long-serving member and club president Geoff Waite following a long illness.

He leaves two sons, Andrew and Neil and a daughter, Alison.

Waite was part of the team which helped to turn Manse Lane from a waste disposal site into a football ground in the early 1950s and took over as club secretary from Syd Bradley in the 1958-59 season, a position which he held until 1975.

He then took on the role as Treasurer and held that position until 2011 when he became president.

Waite’s grandson, Jim Bradley, remains an active member of the first team, which lies ninth in NCEL Division One.

Hewlett described Waite as a “fantastic person”.

“Without Geoff, we wouldn’t have a Knaresborough Town,” he said. “We have just carried on his legacy and, hopefully, someone will carry on ours.”