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Gravesham Borough Football Club forced to close

By Steve Tervet

Gravesham Borough FC have folded after running out of money.

Boro, formerly known as Beauwater and Fleet Leisure, finished 17th in Southern Counties East League Division 1 last season.

But chairman Scott Williamson has called time on the club which was formed in 1927.

Gravesham Borough (red) played in the Southern Counties East League Picture: Matthew Walker
Gravesham Borough (red) played in the Southern Counties East League Picture: Matthew Walker

Gravesham ground-shared with Rochester United and Chatham Town in their final years.

Mr Williamson said: "We tried lots of different avenues this year and found it hard to raise money, especially as playing at Chatham is not cheap.

"We needed money for ongoing costs for the season, up to £15,000, and we couldn't raise the funds.

"We started training three weeks ago, thinking we could raise the funds and we thought we had everything in place from last year with a squad of players.

"But lots of clubs at our level are paying money now and we haven't got a player budget so players are chasing money at other clubs.

"We started training with eight or nine people and tried to get other players in but some of the newer ones were just not up to SCEFL standard."

Mr Williamson, who also served as club secretary and programme editor, has been running the club alongside fixture secretary Peter Snelling for the last few years.

"I feel like I'm going through a divorce," said Mr Williamson. "I played most of my Saturday football for the club when it was Beauwater and Fleet Leisure and I started in 1983. It's heart-wrenching but it wasn't viable to carry on.

"Ricky Mitchell, one of our managers, has been trying to help out all summer but it's really hard to get money out of people.

"Peter's retired, so he's only on a pension, and I'm a working man, not a chairman with money. I only did the job because no-one else wanted to do it and my heart was in the club.

"We all feel really sad. We've been a bit of a Romany side for the last six years now because we had to leave Gravesend.

"We started to pay rental fees and stuff like that because you need the facilities to play at that level."

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