JOE PERKINS says he will be leaving Stratford Town ‘with a heavy heart’ after having to quit as the club’s physiotherapist.
The popular 50-year-old had been a key character in Town’s rise under Carl Adams after following the manager to Knights Lane five years ago from Coleshill Town.
However, Perkins has had to step down because of work commitments.
A statement from the club said: “We are sad to report that Joe Perkins, our magnificent physio, match reporter, results predictor organiser and all-round top gentleman is to leave Town after five fantastic years at the club.”
Perkins said he will look back on an unforgettable five years, as Stratford secured two promotions to move from the Midland Alliance to Southern Premier.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision to leave my position as physiotherapist at Stratford Town FC,” said Perkins.
“I have had five wonderful, memorable and successful years at the DCS and will greatly miss the camaraderie within the dressing room and with the many fans and friends I have made and met in that time.
“I would like to thank Carl for giving me the opportunity to join him at Stratford Town after he left Coleshill Town, where I spent three great years with him prior to our Stratford adventure, and for his friendship throughout those years. Sniffer (Paul Eden) has also been a great friend during that period and he really is Mr Reliable.
“There are so many people to thank at Stratford Town and I’d be here all night mentioning them all, so I’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone at the club, from the players, those in the boardroom, to the fans and all the staff, for their friendship, help and support.
“You have all helped to make the last five years truly remarkable and unforgettable.
“With immense fondness I look back at days like when we beat Westfields away in our Midland Football Alliance promotion season, the celebrations afterwards were outrageous, but encapsulated the craziness of that amazing first year at STFC, the play-off games against Taunton and Larkhall, the brilliant draw we achieved with ten men at Leamington last season.
“Again, I could go on, so many fantastic memories, so many great games, goals, celebrations and laughs.”
Stratford will be looking for a new physio and anyone interested in applying for the post should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, Town will face six new opponents in the 2017/18 Southern League Premier Division after the Football Association confirmed the structure for next season.
Hereford and Tiverton Town move up from the South & West Division and Royston Town and Farnborough are promoted from the Central Division.
Coming down from National League South are Bishop’s Stortford and Gosport Borough.