Rye United manager Marc Gall said he was ‘devastated’ by the club’s withdrawal from the Sussex County Football League.
Gall has been with The Salts-based club for more than a decade, initially as a player with the reserves and then the first team, before taking up the managerial reins just over a year ago.
He said: “I’m devastated really. As much as it was wearing me out, I’m absolutely gutted that it’s come to this. The club’s played a big part in my life in the last 12 years.
“I’ve seen the club go from the top when Les (Britton) was there to the bottom and back to the top under Clive and Pat (Taylor). It’s also sad for a small minority of people in the Rye catchment area that actually help the football club. There’s people there that have put some serious hours in.”
Gall wished to say several ‘thank yous’ to people on and off the field for the support they’ve given to him.
“I would like to put a thanks in to Clive and Pat,” he continued. “Clive’s probably one of the only chairmen I know that lets a manager manage. He’s never had any input into what team I pick or what players I sign.
“He’s backed me from start to finish and we had a very strong bond. Even now I’m speaking to him every day of the week. The guy’s a diamond.
“I would like to thank Andy Thomson (assistant manager), Roger Lee (goalkeeper coach) and Ade Lusted (physio). Thomo was an absolute breath of fresh air. In the hard times he made the situation light and his experience is phenomenal.
“All I can do is thank the players; they’ve been superb. Some of them were absolutely devastated we didn’t finish the season. There’s people who have got a lot more commitment than people think. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing all week.”
Gall, who spent his wedding day at the Rye United FC Clubhouse in June 2012, said it felt strange not being at a football match last Saturday afternoon when Rye were due to have been away to Selsey.
“I was in Rye doing some shopping with the wife and kids,” he added. “I’m lost without football. It’s a welcome break, but on the flip side of it, football’s in my blood. I live and breathe the game.”