Lowestoft Town’s club secretary Terry Lynes hails playoff victory

Lowestoft joint managers Micky Chapman, right, and Ady Gallagher after Mondays play-off final win. 

Picture: James Bass Lowestoft joint managers Micky Chapman, right, and Ady Gallagher after Mondays play-off final win. Picture: James Bass

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
12:45 PM

For Lowestoft Town, this week’s promotion to Conference-level football came at the fourth time of asking, after three successive play-off final defeats.

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Terry Lynes on another Lowestoft Town away day.Terry Lynes on another Lowestoft Town away day.

But for one fan, the wait has been even longer. Terry Lynes has been supporting the Trawlerboys since the mid-1950s and has been involved with the running of the club for almost 30 years.

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Long-serving current club joint manager Micky Chapman pictured in his playing days. He has been at the club since 1981.Long-serving current club joint manager Micky Chapman pictured in his playing days. He has been at the club since 1981.

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The 67-year-old said that Monday’s elevation to the Football Conference – for the first time in the side’s history – has been, by some distance, the highlight.

Mr Lynes’ earliest memory of watching Lowestoft was as a young boy taken to watch a match against Eynesbury Rovers, a side from St Neots, Cambridgeshire, who now play in the United Counties League.

In around 1962, he became hooked on watching the “dominant” Lowestoft side of the 60s, who were led by Noel Kinsey.

This side swept all before them, winning trophies galore, and featured another delighted Blues fan who was watching on, full of smiles on Monday – club legend Rex Butcher.

Still an honorary life committee member and trustee today, after playing more than 480 times for Lowestoft, Mr Butcher’s association with the club goes back well over 55 years – and includes time as chairman, making the tea and cutting the Crown Meadow pitch.

Mr Lynes said: “There are lots of supporters with long-serving links with the club, such as Rex, child welfare officer Bill Belton, who has been supporting Lowestoft since the 1960s and fans including Trevor Lynes (his brother), Brian Cleveland, the Steads and High family who have been following Lowestoft for decades – and there are many more. Of course, Micky Chapman (joint manager) has been with Lowestoft since joining the club as a promising centre forward in 1981.”

He said the promotion was a tribute to such long-serving figures, who had been with the club through the good times and the bad.

Mr Lynes himself became involved with the running of the club at the beginning of the 1985-86 season.

After initially joining as the club’s treasurer on the committee, he became club secretary at the end of the 1987-88 season – and he has remained in that role today.

Reflecting on Lowestoft’s rise up the non-league pyramid and the “never-to-be-forgotten trip to Wembley”, when the side reached the final of the FA Vase in 2008 - losing 2-1 to Kirkham and Wesham, from Lancashire.

Mr Lynes said: “It was a real achievement to get to Wembley, but the achievements of the current side is so much greater.

“The opposition now is of a higher standard, the players are playing in front of bigger crowds and the commitment of the players for the journeys they’ve made in the Ryman League – on top of their own jobs – is unbelievable.

“It’s just been a massive boost for the whole club. To have reached the heady heights that we are at now, and looking back to where we were, well it is incredible.”

Another keen spectator, basking in Lowestoft’s latest promotion success, was Colin Vingoe, 69, of Oulton Broad. The season ticket holder, who played for the side in the 1970s, said: “It was a brilliant result.”

Lowestoft secured promotion with a 3-0 victory over AFC Hornchurch, in front of almost 2,700 fans.

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