“The King is dead, long live the king” Fotherby steps down

21/5/09     Bill Fotherby(left)  Chairman of Harrogate Town  with their new manager Simon Weaver in the stands at Harrogate Town.

21/5/09 Bill Fotherby(left) Chairman of Harrogate Town with their new manager Simon Weaver in the stands at Harrogate Town.

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BILL Fotherby has stepped down as chairman of Harrogate Town Football Club.

The 80-year-old supremo announced his decision on Wednesday, after more than a decade in charge at Wetherby Road.

Fotherby, a former chairman of Leeds United, felt it was time to stand aside having handed full control of the Blue Square North club to new owner Irving Weaver back in June.

“I decided the time was right to go, it was my decision,” he said.

“I’ve 12 great years in charge and achieved a lot in that time. It was the right decision to make, I felt it was time to move on.

“The king is dead, long live the king.”

Fotherby’s dream was always to secure Football League status for the town, and he was a charismatic figure who often divided opinion.

But he picked successful managers in John Reid and then Neil Aspin and with their direction on the pitch, bankrolled the club to promotion out of the UniBond League First Division back in 2002, and then to the newly formed Conference North in 2004.

They also won the West Riding County Cup in 2002 and 2003, and reached the first round proper of the FA Cup against Torquay United in 2005.

First team manger Simon Weaver was given his first football management job by Fotherby back in 2009 and paid tribute to outgoing chairman.

“I will never forget what he’s done for me, he always stuck by me,” said Weaver.

“He’s a man with a lot of footballing knowledge and a lot of football stories to tell.”

For more on the story, see Friday’s Harrogate Advertiser.