Town’s new Chairman is up for the challenge

(Gary Johnson left) Former Referee and current Secretary & Vice Chairman of Whitstable Town FC (Gary Johnson) has been appointed as the Club’s new Chairman following longtime Chairman Joe Brownett’s decision to step down after 23 years, at last night’s Club AGM. (Is this a unique move for this level of former Referee in becoming Chairman of a Step 4 Club?) 

Johnson, a former Referee (born in Kettering, Northamptonshire and having moved to Kent in 1987) joined the Club a little over two years ago; previously a long serving referee known to many across Northants, Kent & the Home Counties as he refereed at Contributory League Level and indeed at Whitstable Town FC where he was best known for sending off an Oysterman in a Kent County FA Final to which he was reminded at the AGM; since his retirement from refereeing almost 6 years ago has Coached, Mentored & Assessed Referee’s before ‘Game Keeper turned Poacher’ on his arrival at the Belmont.

His black & white no nonsense style of officialdom wildly remembered by many a Club & Player especially in Kent earnt him the respect of others but not necessarily many fans!

One of his proudest of many memories within Referee circles was his ‘late call’ to duty as 4th Official for SKY TVs live coverage between Fulham – Aston Villa in 2006

Having joined the ‘Board’ of Whitstable Town FC as Vice (Picture Gary with outgoing chairman Joe Brownett) Chairman, he quickly incorporated the Secretary’s role two seasons ago stepping into the breach by the departure of the then secretary as a stop gap measure; prior to becoming a Director of The Isthmian Football League Ltd only last year.

Gary offered reassurance at the AGM that the foundations laid by his predecessor would be continued, however as with any new appointment change would be imminent; on Gary’s agenda is…..

The reformation of the Supporters Association

Establishing closer links with the business hub & Community of Whitstable & nearby conurbations

The rejuvenation of the Clubs principle income stream – the Club House

Ground development

Enhancing & developing of Youth Football within WTFC

Plus much more!

Much emphasis was put on collaboration & unity in building closer links throughout the Club & the Town.

Naturally delighted with his appointment, he continued as to how exciting he believed the Clubs Future was under the stewardship of the Football Manager Justin Luchford who is completing a re-structure of the Football Management of which further news to follow.

The Club which offers its ‘product’ within the Ryman League South, is to continue to field a Reserve Team within the Kent League whilst also directly running both an U18s & U15s within the Kent Youth League next season.

Gary was delighted to confirm the First Team shirt sponsors for next season as D&J Tyres of Herne Bay, a family run business and trading since 1968.

Joe Brownett outgoing chairman: ‘I have given Gary my full backing, he has been at the club a couple of years now and knows how things work and I know that the club is in safe hands with Gary. My wife Josie and I will still be involved with Whitstable Town, Gary has asked Josie and Connie to stay on as match day hostesses and I shall take care of the pitch and help out around the ground. Rest assured that although I am not the chairman, I still intend to play a big part in the clubs future working with Gary as chairman, Justin, (Luchford) the manager and all my friends both on the committee and all supporters who have given me their backing over many, many years.’ Joe:

Tony Rouse who had a couple of years as chairman added: ‘I am delighted that Gary is now chairman of Whitstable Town, it’s a great club with some great people working tirelessly behind the scenes.  Like Joe; I know what a challenge it is to run a club at this level, but I truly believe that it’s the right time for a fresh start and that Gary is the right man for the job.’ Come on YOU REDS’

Other AGM News:

Joe Brownett becomes President.

George Gifford becomes Honorary Life President (formerly President)

Bruce Smith, Sylvia Davis & Dave Bean become Life Vice Presidents joining Trevor Myhill, Josie Brownett & Connie Smith.

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