TOWN CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN

From Billingham Town secretary Ray Morton:

Paul Beddow took over the role of chairman at Billingham Town in February 2018 with club debts and falling crowds.
He set about restructuring and over the next few months brought in myself who had experience from Thornaby, Jarrow and Norton .He appointed ex-Thornaby manager Paul Edwards and brought back former manager Barry Oliver to work together for season 2018/19 with the expectation of consolidating both the playing and off field activity.  Husband and wife team Neil and Sarah Martin held the communications and treasurer’s roles and several volunteers returned including another husband and wife team Ian Stewart as groundsman and Paula as catering manager.
Paul embarked on a recruitment exercise for local firms and managed to get substantial funds including main sponsors  Utility Alliance, Drive Vauxhall, both Hartlepool companies. Many more companies came on board and Northfield school children started to produce the match programmes .The team started the session well in division two and a lengthy unbeaten run saw them top of the table at Xmas with the enigmatic goal scorer Craig Hutchinson banging in the goals.  He was to win the golden boot award at the end of the season .
The playing side went well all season and we gained promotion on the last day of the season with a 2-1 win at Heaton Stannington to the delight of everyone Paul never expected this trophy after taking over .
Promotion to division one saw the team end up 10th a respectable position but issues with floodlights beset the end of season coupled with the corona virus.  However with support from the committee,  grants have been obtained, local councillors and public support has grown. crowds were up and Paul continued with fund raising and practical tasks at the ground and clubhouse .He retired from Durham police last year as Chief superintendent and everyone at the club wishes him well in the future he has left this club in a fit and proper condition and we are so grateful for his help as chairman.  Former police Chief Supt John Tough has taken over as interim chairman and will be getting a handover from Paul in coming weeks.
John added:
“ Firstly I would like to thank Paul for the hard work, time and unerring commitment he has demonstrated in achieving substantial progress and financial stability for this Club. His achievements cannot be underestimated and the board and supporters owe him an immense gratitude. I fully intend to embrace the legacy left by Paul of which he can be immensely proud and work to enhance the future progress of this great Club. I am grateful for the support I have received over the last two years from the board and supporters and I thank you for your previous kind comments.
I will endeavour to work hard on behalf of the Club, supporters, players and playing staff to ensure we are in an even stronger position to move forward by ensuring we have the correct infrastructure and strategies in place on and off the field. I am not a pessimist and we should believe in ourselves and use that self-belief to thrive. I believe the future is bright, yes there will be some challenges but nothing we can’t overcome together as a progressive board, magnificent supporters and players. I consider it a privilege and an honour to chair this Club and hopefully you will all support me as we move forward together .”