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1973

1973

On the 18 May 1973  at the Annual General Meeting  the Chairman Rusty Burgin  expressed disappointment at the Football season results and congratulated the  Cricket Section  for completing a highly successful season. The Club was also congratulated as a whole by the Chairman for completing what he termed  "its most successful year".  The committee at this time like those in the past was a very strong one comprising of Rusty Burgin  - Chairman, Ken Austin  General - Secretary, Colin Gunn - Treasurer, Bruce Anderson  - Football Secretary,  Brian Bootes - Cricket Secretary, with committee members  Michael Lidstone, Ray Oddy, Peter Wyeth, and Brian Bartlett.

The A.G.M.  of 1973  was a very important milestone in the history of the Club an amendment to the Club Rules was put forward by the committee based on a proposal received from  Colin Gunn  and seconded by Peter Wyeth , this stated:  "The Structure of the Club to be revised to bring existing sections into unison and to cater for future sections to have representation on a  Main Committee "  . New Rules were presented to the meeting and agreed.

The basis of the amendments was that the Club changed it' s name from  Woodcoombe Football Club to Woodcoombe Sports & Social Club ,  by doing this all sections were given equal status and new sections could be formed. In fact the volleyball section was then officially formed, and efforts were made to form a table tennis section.

The structure of the  " Main Club" Committee  then changed with elected members plus a representative from each section. With the football section committee dealing with football, the cricket section with cricket and volleyball with volleyball etc, this lightened the long agendas of previous committee meetings and was therefore all round much more productive. It also involved more Club members in the decision making as to where their own sport would be going.

In  1973  the Cricket Section  saw their introduction to League Cricket on a Saturday, they played 29 matches, winning 9, drawing 4 and losing 16 but as Keith Drury the Secretary reported the weather had been glorious and they had all enjoyed themselves. The section ran a very profitable 100 Club and had a very healthy bank balance. The successful committee comprised of  Dave Barrows  Chairman, Steve Harrison  - Treasurer, Keith Drury - Secretary, Colin Swift - Club Captain, Les Cousins , and  Alan Appleby . The team had done well in the Doug Wood Cup.

In November 1973  the "Antao Cup" was presented to the Club and the committee agreed that this would be presented to the Club Personality of the year at the next Dinner Dance - the winner that first year was  Marion Gunn  - also at that time the Club was looking at participation in the Sittingbourne Carnival and the local " It 's A Knock-Out ".  It was also the first year that the Club sent Christmas Cards to all of its Members.

The Volleyball Section represented Sittingbourne in the Annual Festival of Sport with  Colin Gunn  as the organizer. An attempt by Coombe Ladies Netball team to join the Club failed, and also in  1973  the formation of the Junior Football Section was a welcome addition to the Club.

Another landmark for 1973 was the purchase of a Gestetner duplicator and the production of a periodical newsletter thanks to Editors  Brian Bartlett and Dave Barrows . As you have read 1973/74  was a landmark year in the history of the Club, it was the year that Woodcoombe Sports and Social Club was born with all of it's sections joining under that banner.

A Club Badge had been introduced; Membership Cards and the production of the Newsletter, and Jock Weir became our first Honorary Member. Serious thought was given to acquiring our own premises and approaches were made to various local farmers and landowners to donate or sell a plot of land to the club for use as a sports ground facility, a pursuit that would continue for many years.

Football had reasonable success with the Saturday 1st X1 playing in the Rochester League Division 2 and finishing in the top half, they did reach the final of the Sittingbourne Charity Cup ( Peter Sheaf  played in every match during that season). The 2nd X1 played in Rochester Division 6 but never really heard the starting pistol, the Sunday X1 finished in the top half of the Medway Sunday League.

Football had seen its largest membership ever and great encouragement was seen with the number of youngster wishing to join the section, which boded well for the future. Football also saw the highest number of injuries ever,  Rusty Burgin  and Bob Miller both broke legs,  Stuart Withal ,  Dave Barrows and  Bryan King  also received hospital treatment; committee thoughts then turned to insurance cover, which is no surprise.

Many footballers of course played cricket and as the season ended the 6th and 7th July saw yet another new venture a weekend away playing cricket at Bexhill/Hastings and at Rolvenden.

In the meantime the Main Club Committee were arranging a Dinner Dance at the Coniston Hotel with The National 4 Band at a cost of £2.50 per head, £1.25 for those wishing to only attend the dance, such was the interest that 350 tickets were printed.

There was also a Games Evening arranged by Colin Gunn against the London Fire Brigade, there was a coach trip to a 'Carry On'  in London, and  Peter Wyeth was busy organising a disco at the Labour Hall, Park Road. Unfortunately the disco didn't turn up and Ken Austin  came to the rescue with his 'gramaphone' and many thought a few too many Max Bygraves records!!

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