Cambridge FC has three new Life Members after they were elected from the floor at this year’s Annual General Meeting.
They are club chairman Steve Thomas, secretary Josh Easby and long-time volunteer Craig Clark who has held multiple positions at the club.
Club president Peter Martens (main photograph), chairing his 31st AGM, surprised the trio by nominating them for life membership at the end of his annual report to members.
He said Thomas had worked tirelessly for the club since his arrival in Cambridge 16 years ago. As well as chairing the club’s committee in two spells, he had coached junior and senior teams and had led the club through a period of growth.
Martens said Easby had worked behind the scenes to help the club make much progress over the past decade.
Clark, who was recently named an unsung club hero by WaiBOP Football, had done everything at the club from serving as its treasurer to managing club facilities.
The trio were elected Life Members by the meeting’s 35 attendees, becoming Life Members 14, 15 and 16.
Martens, was is Life Member 13, said the club had given the honour rarely since its inception in 1948.
While that made the membership special, he said he felt the club sometimes neglected the opportunity to recognise significant contributions which he wanted to rectify.
From left: Steve Thomas, Josh Easby, Craig Clark.
The club now has 16 Life Members – Vic Butler, W.J.Sugden, Bert van Doorne, Eric Sugden, John Kerkhof, Alan Busst, Harry Bekkers, Hans Rakely, Rod Larnach, Kerry Dauphin, Bill Brown, Robert Bradley, Peter Martens, QSM, Steve Thomas, Josh Easby and Craig Clark.
Meanwhile, in his annual report to members, the president said the club was coming to a crucial crossroads in its history.
Continuing as a volunteer-run community club was proving to be increasingly difficult, as playing numbers grew and pressures increased on facilities, finances and the number of volunteers available to help.
Time pressures on families today made it difficult for volunteers to contribute the levels of work as in the past.
He said members needed to contemplate the options that lay ahead – in the short term, more help was needed from volunteers and in the long term, the club should consider how it can achieve economies of scale by growing to more than 2,000 members.
Two obvious options were forming partnerships with other clubs, or becoming a multi-sport organisation.
He urged members to keep open minds and to discuss how new models could benefit the club, especially future generations of players.
Elected to role and committee
The membership elected its new committee which includes Peter Martens (president), Mariano Castellon (treasurer), Harry Bomans (senior captain) and Matt Malligan (junior captain). Eight nominees were elected to the committee: Greg Zeuren, Rick Vollebregt, Richard Crafts, Marie O’Neill, Leon McPhillips, Lawrie Baker, Cole Van den Beuken and Luke Ashby.
No nominations were received for club secretary but current secretary Josh Easby said he was available to be co-opted to the committee, if required.
Steve Thomas and Tim Bailey, both members of the outgoing committee, are also willing to be co-opted.
The composition of the committee, and the appointment of chair, will be decided when it meets on Monday November 11.