FOOTBALL: Merritt departure signalled the end

First published in Sport Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Non League Football. Call me on 01865 425488

The news of Witney Town’s demise is in a big contrast to the summer when Justin Merritt was appointed boss with the plan to eventually get the club back in the Southern League.

However, it all started to unravel in September last year when Merritt resigned, shortly followed by one of his assistants, Eddie Denton.

The following month, Stuart Pike replaced Tom Amer as chairman to take over the helm at Carterton.

But in December, boss Justin Lee, Pike and director of football Andy Lyne all resigned.

Former Bicester Town boss Chris Hurley was appointed manager, but a mass exodus saw him left with only two players.

Donovan took over as chairman in January just as the club were evicted from the Community Stadium.

He resigned last month after a groundshare at Carterton was abandoned.

Founded in 1885, Witney Town became an established Southern League side, playing at the newly-opened Oakey Park before it became Marriott’s Stadium, the Polythene UK Stadium, before finally being named the Witney Community Stadium. The club folded in 2001, only to re-emerge the following year when a group of fans formed Witney United.

In 2011 the club reverted to their original name, Witney Town, after it was re-formed as a registered charity.

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