GORDON STRATFORD admitted that ‘the wind has been taken out of my sails’ when he had the clubhouse at South Cerney FC named after him recently.

Dutch and Kay Allen made a presentation to Stratford at the club’s AGM at the Crown of Crucis in honour of his 50 years service and dedication to South Cerney FC as player, manager, treasurer, secretary and chairman.

Stratford and his wife Rose were also on hand when a sign was put up at the clubhouse a few days later.

Stratford recalled some of the problems associated with playing at South Cerney FC originally in the early sixties. “With no facilities we had to come to the game already changed while the visitors put their kit on in a garage at the Royal Oak,” said Gordon.

“Then we had to herd Tom Ponting’s cows to the bottom half of the field before putting up the posts and nets. So as well as having to beat the opposition, we had to avoid the cow pats as well. We eventually bought a disused Post Office telephone building to use as a changing room.

“When the field became the village recreation ground, over the next few years and with the help of the parish council, local tradespeople and fundraising by the club members, we were able to ask Kevin Messenger to build the changing rooms which we can be so proud of today.

“Over the years the club has won a number of trophies, but there have also been some lean years.

“As a player and manager I have been associated with some outstanding players: Rod Smart, Reggie Rix, the Weaver brothers John and Jim, Adie Smith, Trevor Evans, Dave Allaway, George Moore, Brian Megson, Mick Read, Tony Willavoys and Dutch Allen to name a few.

“So to everyone who has helped through the years, thank you South Cerney.”