I'm Gunner be leaving'
PUBLISHED: 12:06 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010
COLIN Murfitt is to step down as Soham Town Rangers chairman at the end of the season. Businessman Murfitt, 58, is to quit the chairmanship to concentrate on watching his beloved Arsenal, although he will continue to sit on the club s committee. He said:
COLIN Murfitt is to step down as Soham Town Rangers chairman at the end of the season.
Businessman Murfitt, 58, is to quit the chairmanship to concentrate on watching his beloved Arsenal, although he will continue to sit on the club's committee.
He said: "I've done my stint. I've got some season tickets to see Arsenal next year and it's time for someone else to come in and give it a go."
Murfitt is perhaps best-known for largely bankrolling the club during his time at Julius Martin Lane, as well as bringing footballer-turned-Hollywood-superstar Vinnie Jones to the club as president.
"I know Vinnie as a friend and I thought he would be a good figurehead so I brought him in," said Murfitt, whose firm CJ Murfitt builders remains the main club sponsor.
His decision, which he said was taken "two or three years ago", will bring to an end a reign which has seen Soham transformed from also-rans to a top-six outfit.
In all, Murfitt has been involved at boardroom level at the club for nearly 20 years. His father, Fred, was a player at Julius Martin Lane and his mother Win was tealady.
"I got into it for dad, really," continued Muriftt. "The club came to me and asked me to get involved, so I did.
"I've only had one two-year break in the last 20 years or so but I'm happy to go as soon as the committee finds someone else.
"I'd like to stay on the committee though, if that's what they want, and I will remain a trustee."
A decision on Murfitt's replacement is likely to be made at August's annual meeting.
Secretary Chris Abbott, who is himself leaving at the end of the season, said: "Colin has done wonders for the club.
"He's put us on a sound financial footing with the rent we get from the offices at the ground and the sportsman's dinners he runs.
"He's going to be a hard act to follow for sure. I think he's been thinking about stepping down for a couple of years but obviously he's taken the decision now.
"I'd like to thank him for all the help he's given me personally and the club will miss his input. He's always been there at the end of the day. He's been very good to the players and everyone at the club."
Third place remains Soham's best Eastern Counties League finish in Murfitt's time, and they have been blighted in recent seasons by a frustrating tendency to be inconsistent.
Manager Ian Benjamin is in his second spell in charge at the club and the team currently lies eighth in the Ridgeons Premier Division.
On the cup front, they finished Ridgeons League Cup runners-up to Maldon Town in 2004. The following season, they reached the fifth round of the FA Vase, before losing 1-0 to AFC Newbury.