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FOOTBALL: Witney Town: They think it's all over - it is now
Witney Town’s former chairman Dave Donovan has expressed his sadness at the demise of the former Southern League club, but says the end was inevitable.
Last Wednesday, the Premier Division outfit, one of Oxfordshire’s oldest football clubs, resigned from the Hellenic League and folded due to lack of funds.
Earlier this month, the cash-strapped club were evicted from the Witney Community Stadium because they were unable to pay the rent.
They had hoped to groundshare with Carterton, but lack of funds meant they were unable to sign a rental agreement.
“I knew it was coming, so it wasn’t exactly a shock,” said Donovan, who has been a supporter for about 20 years.
“But it’s still disappointing to see it happening.”
But Donovan is optimistic the Oxfordshire outfit will one day re-emerge from the ashes.
“It’s a massive shame and hopefully someone can resurrect it at some stage in the future, but there seems to be a lack of interest from people in the town to run it.
“Unfortunately, the stadium was not something you could run with a small group of people, so it became an albatross around our necks.”
Former striker Sean McKeon added: “I’m devastated the club is no longer.
“It is upsetting knowing the hard work people like Andy Lyne (former manager) and Ady Bircher (ex-secretary) and the committee put in.
The loss of Witney Town was in huge contrast to the summer, when Justin Merritt was made boss with a plan to get the club back in the Southern League.
However, in September last year Merritt resigned, followed by one of his assistants, Eddie Denton.
The following month, Stuart Pike replaced Tom Amer as chairman to take over the helm at Carterton.
In December, boss Justin Lee, Pike and director of football Andy Lyne all resigned, with Chris Hurley made boss.
Donovan took over as chairman in January, but resigned after a groundshare at Carterton was abandoned.
Founded in 1885, Witney Town folded in 2001, only to re-emerge the following year when a group of fans formed Witney United.
In 2011 the club reverted to their original name, Witney Town, after it was re-formed as a registered charity.