The club wishes to announce that for personal reasons Gareth Coates has decided to step down from his role at the club. While the club are extremely sad about this, we understand and respect Gareth’s decision and he leaves as a friend and with our very best wishes.
Around 4 and a half years ago Gareth was approached to lend a hand with putting together one programme for the club but things quickly got out of hand, as they do. During his tenure with the club Gareth has received multiple awards winning the Soccer Swap Shop Programme Awards (divisional winners) in 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 (which was shared with Jamie Weston) and has also been the recipient of M60 Programmes Divisional Awards in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 (with Jamie).
Gareth spoke of his departure on Wednesday when he announced his intention to step down to his fellow volunteers.
“When I agreed to put together one programme at short notice, four and a half years ago, I had no idea about the adventure I was about to start. My time as a volunteer with the club has been enormously rewarding and I’d definitely recommend getting involved to other supporters. On the one hand, I’m sad to be stepping back but I know that doing so is best for my family and therefore, best for the club. I wouldn’t want to do anything by halves. “I think next season is going to be enormously exciting for the whole club and I’m very much looking forward to enjoying it as a supporter.”
Gareth’s talents and efforts weren’t just confined to our award-winning programmes. He is also responsible for our website that has encompassed the implementation of the online ticketing system which saw a massive increase in turnover. Additionally, Gareth has increased coverage for all of the club teams. No stranger to non-league football, Gareth was first involved as a ball boy at Egham Town in the 1990’s before climbing the ladder with Egham to become Reserve Team Secretary and programme editor.
He also built the team a website when the world wide web was still in its infancy. In 1998 he would move to Bracknell Town where he built their first website and while undertaking a dual role of Reserve Team Secretary and Youth Secretary he was also involved in the Junior Section were he would help run the Junior Tournament. After a brief return to Egham Town Gareth joined Ashford Town in Middlesex between 2007-15. His role at Ashford would see him work the Tannoy, scout players, edit the program before eventually becoming General Secretary when he used the role to help the club become a Limited Company and attract grant funding for a new clubhouse roof and training pitches.
Co-Chairman, Matt Roberts commented on Gareth’s departure:
I’d like to put on record my sincere thanks for everything that Gareth has done for the club. We had a really good chat yesterday and although I am sad to see Gareth step away, I fully respect why he has come to this decision as his number one priority needs to be his family. Gareth has been a huge asset to not only the club but also myself due to his many years of experience in non league football. He has also become a personal friend and will always be a part of the Cables family.
“I’m sure Gareth won’t be a stranger at the club and we look forward to welcoming him back to the IP Truckparts Stadium to enjoy watching some football in the near future.
Unbelievably Gareth has still had time to author a book during his time at Ashford about the club history that can be found here on his website.
Co-Chair Jamie Weston summed up his thoughts upon speaking to Gareth this week.
I’d just like to thank Gareth for the last near 5 years of support he has provided to the club as a volunteer, he has done everything from Radio commentary to building us a website, and everything in-between. It is a sad day to lose a volunteer of his quality and dedication but I also understand and fully support his reasons for standing down. As I said to Gareth personally, the door will always be open at Cables if things change in the future. I hope you enjoy the new perspective of watching the games as a fan, with a pint in hand. Don’t go too hard on the linesman now!”
We look forward to welcoming Gareth as a fan back on the terraces and as both Matt and Jamie have outlined the door will always be open for a return should time allow.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of non-league. If you look up ‘non-league volunteer’ in the dictionary it quite simply says: Gareth Coates.