CHAIRMAN Doug White insists his retirement does not mean the end for Bedfont Town FC.

White told the players he is stepping down after last Wednesday's 3-2 County Cup defeat to Hampton & Richmond Borough – and one posted 'RIP Bedfont' on his Facebook page.

But White has made clear that the club he has been involved in as mascot, player and chairman for almost 50 years has a bright future.

He said: “I've been chairman for 30 years and I've been married for 30 years, and there comes a time when you have to give time to the family. It's not just Saturday afternoons when you're a chairman, I've been out there marking the pitch and cutting the hedges.

“The club was founded as Bedfont Green in 1965 by lads who played football on the green, and when my dad died the same year, they took me under their wing as mascot. But over the last few months, my mum has passed away, as well as one of the club's founder members, and these things hit you hard.

“I've been thinking of retiring for a while now, but I couldn't do it when we were bottom of the league. Now we are safe, the time is right, as it gives time for a replacement to come in before the end of the season.

“I won't officially resign until a replacement comes in, but I have been the main benefactor for 30 years, and I want to make sure it is the right person to take the club to the next level. I don't have the passion for it any more, but the manager believes we can be a Conference club in three years.

“The beauty of it is we don't have any debts. We have a the facilities in place, all it takes is someone who will invest in the squad to take it forward.”

White is, however, proud of the legacy he will leave behind. Under his stewardship, they have risen from a club playing park football to the borough's most senior non-league side.

He added: “Eight years ago we were playing at Bedfont Rec – we are now playing the highest level of football the town of Bedfont has ever seen, with a long-term ground share in place.

“I have spoken to a few people about taking over but it's early days yet, it has to be thought about carefully.”