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Tonbridge manager Steve McKimm pays tribute as chairman Steve Churcher stands down

By Matthew Panting

Manager Steve McKimm has led the tributes to departing Tonbridge chairman Steve Churcher.

Mr Churcher will step down after eight years at the helm this month after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He will undergo a programme of radiotherapy in the spring which would make carrying out the duties of chairman impractical.

Steve Churcher with Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm Picture David Couldridge

Steve Churcher, left, with Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm Picture: David Couldridge

McKimm said: “Steve gave me the opportunity to manage this club and he is such a nice gentleman.

“He has the club at heart and is there almost every day with the volunteers. He cares about Tonbridge Angels and everything that goes into it and it hurts him when we lose.

“He is a fantastic man and it’s sad for him to have to step down but it’s understandable as he is going to have some treatment.

“People will still see him at games but the pressure of being chairman won’t help and he needs that time to be with his family.”

On the pitch, Angels came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Dorking Wanderers in the Bostik Premier on Tuesday.

Illness – a major factor in last Saturday’s home defeat to Merstham – continued to play a part but Nathan Elder and Alex Akrofi (2) both netted.

“They’ve been ill for 10 days,” said McKimm. “Nathan went back to bed after Saturday’s game and only got out again on Tuesday. Alex was the same, he is still feeling the effects of it. 

“There were four or five who were not 100% but they wanted to play for me and the football club.”

Angels came in for stick after losing 1-0 to Merstham on Saturday but McKimm was looking at the bigger picture.

He said: “I watched the game back and we had plenty of opportunities but you could see a lot of the players didn’t have that extra burst in them.”

Angels travel to bottom side Worthing on Saturday but McKimm warned: “It’s going to be a difficult game. Last year we didn’t do well down there so we’ve got to have the right frame of mind and hopefully the players are fully fit.”

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