By Peter Longley OBE
I succeeded my father Sir Norman Longley as President of Longley Football Club in 1986 and it gives me great pleasure to write this foreword to the history of the Football Club over the past 40 years.
James Longley & Co. Ltd. is a family firm of long standing and prior to the New Town being established in Crawley the Company was the largest employer in the Town. Many of the employees remained with the Company throughout their working lives and it is therefore no surprise to see many of those who joined the Football Club at its inception still at the helm today.
This truly reflects the title applied to the history ‘Football Fun and Friendships’ for the game is played by many throughout the Country for fun and friendships forged on the football ground remain forever.
Over the years the Club has enjoyed much success, but it has also been in the doldrums and it is a credit to the Committee that they have remained steadfast throughout the good years and the bad ones.
Our Secretary, Gerald Roberts, a long time employee has done a tremendous job in keeping the Club running over the past 40 years and it is his meticulous attention to detail and keeping of the records that has enabled this book to be written. The Football Club is indebted to him for all the work he has put in over the past 40 years in the enjoyment of Football. I also congratulate Brian Bayliss, the Club Chairman, who has deciphered all of Gerald’s notes and obtained the numerous profiles to compile this book.
My father, Sir Norman, throughout his life was a true amateur who believed that the joy in any sport or community activity came from the giving and participation not from the benefit to be obtained and he commended this to the Football Club at the outset and I am pleased that this principle has been adhered to over the years.
I hope that all who read this book will recall past matches and the enjoyment they had in playing for Dinning Football Club.
315 pages. 266 photographs
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