Club president: Don’t let football team die
Bodmin Town president Brian Retallack (left), with club secretary Nick Giles.
5th May 2021
By Tom Howe
President Brian Retallack has urged people not to let Bodmin’s football club ‘die’ and launched a recruitment drive aimed at adding fresh faces to their committee.
Formed in 1889, the club began life at Cooksland on Liskeard Road. Moves to Coldharbour Lane and Barn Park followed, before a return to Cooksland and time spent at Westheath paved the way for a move to their current home, Priory Park.
Since winning the 2005-06 South Western League, the club has enjoyed almost unparalleled success on the pitch, something which has propelled Bodmin to the very top of Cornish football, with five South West Peninsula (SWP) Premier Division crowns and as many Senior and League Cups following in quick succession.
A small team of committee members has supported not just Bodmin Town during that period but also Bodmin Youth, the Kernow Football Alliance and others who call on Priory Park as their home. Now, as the club itself looks to reach new heights, that same group is calling upon the local community to lend a helping hand.
“We need more people involved really,” surmised club secretary Nick Giles in discussion with the Voice. “We can't run a club on five people. Ideally, we need a bit of everything. We need people to come in as officers, as grounds people, as matchday people, people who can work in the clubhouse, everything.
“We're looking for people with different skill sets, people with different and new ideas. Everything is here in terms of infrastructure, we just need people. We are not looking to run a Crowdfunder campaign where we need £20,000 or whatever, we are simply asking for some people to come in and commit their time as we need some help.
“Bodmin Town has been going for 130 odd years. We have facilities here and are having work done.
“If we get two or three people that come in and do stuff, they may know another couple of people and it starts snowballing a little bit.
“If you look around, the workforces are getting older and there is a limited amount of people anyway. Players don’t necessarily see the work that goes on behind the scenes either. Some just turn up on a Saturday.”
Nick runs the club alongside fellow volunteers Sheila Chapman and Terry Huddy, as well as husband and wife Brian and Sandra Retallack. It is quite astonishing to see, with four of the five into their seventies, just what has been achieved by this small team of dedicated individuals over the years.
However, with a solid base both on and off the pitch, Town’s committee need help to carry out big plans for the future, with Sandra telling the Voice: “What this club needs now is new blood as we feel we have gone as far as we can go. Every weekend we are here at this football club. We are here first thing on a Saturday morning and the first thing on a Sunday morning.
“Darren [Gilbert - manager] keeps asking are we definitely going? He knows very well what we do and who is going to do that when Brian and I have gone? We’ve worked our socks off to get the club into this state. We have all done our share.
“What we are doing is putting something back into the community. We have enjoyed doing it and have had some damn good times.”
With Bodmin’s nearest SWP rivals a 30-minute round trip away at Wadebridge Town and St Blazey respectively, Sandra’s husband, Brian, hopes the committee can pass the baton onto a new generation of locally-based volunteers who want to give something back to their community and continue developing the town’s football club.
He concluded: “We want somebody to come in and learn the ropes, then we can fade ourselves out. I would still like to do a bit of groundwork as it gets me out of the house. We don’t want the football team to die.”
For more information and to register interest in helping your local club, email mailto:email@example.com or search ‘Bodmin Town’ on Twitter and Facebook.