Spencer forced to fold after 80 years in existence

Spencer have been forced to fold
Spencer have been forced to fold
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Graham Wrighting fears more clubs will go the same was as Spencer after the Northampton team was forced to fold.

With chairman Wrighting unable to find anyone to succeed him and fill five other roles, Spencer’s 80-year existence is at an end.

The club finished 13th in the UCL Premier Division in the season just gone, but that will be the final campaign at Kingsthorpe Mill.

Wrighting is sad to have to pull the plug and will now focus on clearing the club’s overdraft by selling off equipment.

And he has warned that Spencer’s tale could be repeated at other clubs in the not too distant future, with a lack of committee members and funding becoming increasingly common.

“We’re at the end of the road,” Wrighting said.

“I couldn’t find the people we needed. We had to find a chairman, treasurer, groundsman, bar person and a matchday secretary, and we’ve got none of them.

“I’m afraid that means it’s the end of the road.

“The club was formed in 1936 so it’s a long while and I’m sorry to see it go. I just couldn’t keep it going with what we’ve got.

“It’s very sad, but I don’t think we’ll be the only ones in the near future. I think there’s two or three more clubs struggling.

“It’s gradually got worse year on year because you can’t find people to sponsor you now and money’s very tight. People don’t seem to want to put it into football clubs.

“In the Premier League, all the money they get from television they say it filters down, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t get down to grassroots because that’s what we are.

“We don’t get any help from it. Money’s kept up the top.”

So what will happen to Spencer’s home, Kingsthorpe Mill?

“We don’t know,” Wrighting said. “I’ve got to talk to the council because we’ve got 18 years left on the lease.

“We’ve had offers on some of the equipment, but we’ll have to wait and see after I’ve spoken to the council.”

Wrighting has nothing but praise for the players and manager, Ben Stone, and what they have done.

He said: “We’ve had four good years with Ben. He brought all the players in and they’ve been great.

“If I could, I’d have liked to have kept them together, but they’ll have to decide where they’re going to go in the future.

“I don’t know whether they’ll be able to stay together.

“They’re a good set of lads and I’m proud of what they’ve achieved.”

Wrighting had been at the Spencer helm for an incredible 33 years and the 72-year-old has some fond memories.

He said: “When we won the Prem (in 1992) and won the Senior Cup (in 1994) they were good years.

“We’ve had some good times and although we didn’t win something every year, we still had a decent setup.”