‘Rye was a unique club to play for’

Rye United was a unique club to play according to its record goalscorer Shaun Loft. Picture courtesy Simon Roe Photography
Rye United was a unique club to play according to its record goalscorer Shaun Loft. Picture courtesy Simon Roe Photography

Rye United was a unique football club to play for, according to its record goalscorer.

Shaun Loft, who also made more appearances for Rye than any other outfield player, enjoyed much success during his several spells at The Salts.

He said: “It was just a unique club really. When we had the Vase side (which reached the quarter-finals in 2010/11) we had a lot of different people, but we all got on.

“It was a unique set of players. There were no arguments and the stories that minibus could tell would be ridiculous. We were a good side and we were horrible to play against, but I think we had a lot of respect from people.

“The ground wasn’t the greatest and no-one liked coming to Rye, but I don’t think they liked playing at home to us either. We were never going to give in and everyone fought for each other. I had a few spells at other clubs, but I always went back to Rye because of that.”

A striker in the early part of his career before switching to centre-half in recent years, Loft was full of praise for the contribution made to Rye by chairman and vice-chairman Clive and Pat Taylor.

“To be fair to Pat and Clive, they would do everything for you,” he continued. “Pat was walking round feeding my kids on a Sunday morning when we were watching the under-18s.

“Clive would be working up in Chesterfield on a Tuesday and drive all the way back for a game in the evening because he had no-one to run the bar.

“All the time I’ve been there we’ve won stuff. We’ve always done more than a club like that should’ve done and I think deep down Clive probably knew that. The people of Rye no-one put any funds in and no-one was interested in watching.

“The fact that they’ve withdrawn from the (Sussex County) league is terrible really, but they couldn’t carry on as it was. It was always going to happen and you could see it coming. There was no working committee; everything was just funded by Clive. He was paying for it every year.”