Eyre is appointed as new chairman-elect at Rangers

Len Eyre, Berwick Rangers chairman elect
Len Eyre, Berwick Rangers chairman elect

Berwick Rangers Football Club has a new chairman elect - retired local businessman Len Eyre was voted into the position at a board meeting on Saturday morning.

Eyre will take up the role when current chairman Brian Porteous steps down near the end of the season in May.

Porteous indicated earlier in the season that he planned to stand down as chairman after eight years in the hot-seat. He has cited his on-going health and a desire to spend more time with his family and on his business interests as the main reasons behind his decision.

The position of vice-chairman-elect will be decided at a later date.

Eyre and current vice-chairman, John Bell, had both previously put themselves forward for election as successor to Porteous, and at an earlier board meeting it was decided they would both be required to make a presentation to their fellow directors, which they did at Shielfield at the weekend.

“It was nerve-racking,” he said, “but I was delighted to be appointed.

“It is something I have wanted to do for a long time now and I am really looking forward to the challenges which lie ahead.

“Brian will be a hard act to follow, as he has put in a lot of time and effort into turning the club around and I am just hoping we can continue in the same vein.”

Eyre says he is a long-standing supporter of the club, having first gone to watch the team as a teenager.

“I lost my way for a while,” he said, “when I went and played a lot of golf.

“But eight years ago I became a director, when the club probably wasn’t in the best of positions financially, but things have been turned around and now I have a passion for the club, which I want to see succeed.

“It is a proud moment for me to be named as chairman-elect.

“As a Berwicker I realise just how important the club is to the town, and I think it is important to have a local figurehead, someone who people can go to.

“We need to engage with the community, and to that end, one of the things I want to do is bring everyone involved with the club together so we are singing from the same hymn-sheet.

“But of course we have a big hurdle to overcome before then, because we have to make sure we retain our league status at the end of this season.

“It would be an absolute disaster if that was not to be achieved, and of course I would feel so sorry for Brian after all the hard work he has put in.

“Things need to be right both on and off the pitch, that’s why this transitional period is so important.”

Eyre said part of his presentation to the board included fostering relations with Berwick Speedway, who share their facilities at Shielfield.

And he said he also mooted the idea of a 3G training pitch on Old Shielfield, which could be used by the club and other organisations around the area.

“It’s something we need to look at,” he said, “as it could be a way of raising extra revenue.”

Meanwhile, Douglas Watkins from Norham, has been appointed as an associate director at the club.