You can listen to an interview with Terry using the audio player below and read a copy of the statement Terry gave to the AGM on 31st July.
Terry Owens Resignation Statement to the Members at this years AGM – 31st July 2013
I’m here tonight to announce that I will be standing down as chairman of the Trust and generally stepping back from any day to day involvement with the football club.
I should add there is nothing sinister in this announcement, however, having served the club in various capacities for the past 30 years I really need a rest!
I first started supporting the Shots as a ten year old, that was back in 1956 but I’ll leave you to work out how old I am now!
As I mentioned, I’ve served the club in one way or another for 30 years now. It started in the early 80’s when I was appointed Commercial director under the then chairman David O’Connell. This was a turbulent time for the club with boardroom bickering and various takeovers happening… sounds familiar.
Its amazing to think how the game has changed over this period, back in 198?? I was responsible for bringing in the Shots first ever short sponsor, it was The Midas Press, a local printer based in Farnborough and they paid the grand sum of £12,000 for the privilege.
In the mid eighties I worked under another Chairman, Mike Gill-Anderson when he invited me to become Chairman of a Club Management committee which worked alongside the board.
Needless to say Mike was not chairman for long and by the end of the 80’s I was Terry Lewis was Chairman and the club was in a perilous financial state. Alongside Terry I served as chairman of the SOS or Save Our Shots Campaign. We raised over £80k in a 12 month period which kept the club going and was often used to pay the players. Who’d have thought nearly 25 years later I’d again be asking the supporters for money to help save the club?
One of my most satisfying roles was when Ian McDonald, the Shots long serving club captain at the time asked me to head up his Testimonial Committee. Ian was a terrific servant to the football club and fully deserved his testimonial. I’m still in touch with Ian even now although he has recently moved back to his birthplace of Barrow.
By August 1990 the financial position of the club had got considerably worse when I was invited by the then chairman Colin Hancock to form and chair a football club management team alongside the board of which a certain Spencer Trethewy, or Day as he now likes to be known was a member. No prizes for guessing how that ended up!
As I’m sure everyone in the room now knows, in March 1992 Aldershot Football Club was wound up in the high court, unfortunately this was no surprise to me and I had already registered my intent of a new Aldershot Football Club with the Diadora and Beazer Homes Leagues. Thank goodness I did as had I not done so, the new club Aldershot Town FC (1992) Ltd, would not have surfaced for another 12months, due to league applications having to be registered before our club went bust.
Alongside the Supports Club I organised two public meetings, of which over 500 supporters attended each one. I then became Chairman of the new Aldershot Town FC for the next 6 years.
These six years were some of the happiest and most exciting times I’ve had supporting the Shots. During my six years as chairman we had unprecedented success, record croewds for our level, a healthy bank balance and no overdrafts.
When I stepped down as chairman I sat on the board under Karl Prentice and also worked alongside John McGinty when he became Chairman.
Four years ago I became Chairman of the Shots Trust steering group to try and convert the Aldershot Supporters Club into a Supporters Trust and 12 months later we achieved our goal.
I then stood down to allow a team of younger and more energetic supporters to run it including the ones who served on the steering group and for 3 years it all operated quite well, but during 2012 the Trust was desperately short of board members so I reluctantly offered to join the Trust Board and subsequently took on the Chairman’s role.
I’m pleased to say the Trust is now stronger than its ever been, we’ve over 700 members with a realistic target to achieve a 1000 and now have a strong board of 9 serving the supporters.
However, our world fell apart when the club was placed into administration. The thought of losing the club we’d all worked so hard to create was a hammer blow and bought me to tears when a local radio station hot me with the news on 2nd May 2013.
The next 8 weeks were nothing short of a whirlwind as we looked to take the club out of administration and into community ownership. However, the workload and responsibilities became greater than I, or the rest of the trust board, could ever have imagined. I retired a few years ago but those 8 weeks were literally a 7 day a week full time job. I was having 4 or 5 meetings a week, received over 1000 emails, hundreds and hundreds of text messages as well as countless phone calls from supporters, directors, previous managers, mystery investors, you name it they probably called me!!
After all this I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted and want to get back to just supporting the club I love and more importantly get back on track with my wife, family and spend more time with my Grandchildren.
Therefore, as I mentioned at the beginning, I’m stepping down as Chairman of the Trust with immediate effect.
It has been great serving you as members of the Shots Trust, and more then anything else it has been a pleasure serving the supporters of the club over the last 30 years.
I sincerely wish the current Trust Directors every success, especially over the next 6months whilst you work alongside the current Football Club Chairman and Directors, looking for common ground and windows of opportunity that are in the best interests of both parties and our Football Club and it`s Supporters in particular.