After serving on the Board of Directors for the past 15 years, Horsham Football Club CEO John Lines has decided to step down from his role ahead of the new season.

John has played an integral role since joining the Board back in 2005, with his tireless focus on securing our new home finally coming to a successful end when we received the keys to The Camping World Community Stadium in June last year.

As well as his behind-the-scenes role, John is often found on a matchday behind the lens, as our club photographer, a role which he will be continuing in the future.

Speaking on his decision, John said: “The club will forever be a part of my life. Through the ups and downs of the process that saw us into our fantastic new ground, I felt I could contribute fully to all of the questions and arguments racked up by HDC and others and that’s where I felt my most comfortable.

“We are past that now and the club needs a wholly different kind of director.

“Now that Sam (Borrett) and Sean (Bravery) have joined the board, it has been a revelation to me just how clear their aspirations and their brilliant ideas for the future will project the club to great success and it is more of this younger breed the club needs.

He added: “I feel I have done my bit but now I want to move from the front line into the fold of being a supporter and simply enjoy the buzz.”

Chairman Kevin Borrett said: “The club owes a huge debt to John for his 15 years’ service on the Board and I know everyone will want to thank him for that.

“On a personal level, we grew particularly close when John and I drove forward the plans for a new ground and resolving issues at the Holbrook site with a quiet tenacity when doors seemed to be constantly slammed in the face of HFC.

“Property development was his forte, combined with his passion for action photography. The club has been truly fortunate to have had him devote so much of his time over a long period to its service. His quiet, unassuming manner also endeared him to everyone.”

Kevin confirmed why all parties feel this is the right time for a change. He continued: “Today we are now at the point where the final planning permissions associated with building the ground are largely complete and other legacy issues likewise.

“The focus is now very much on building our all age community club and operating our facilities.

β€œThat task has also grown in nature, given the new normal that will emerge following the COVID-19 outbreak and John therefore concluded that now is the right time for him to stand back as writing the next chapter of HFC history is going to be a longer term activity than just the next 12 months or so.

“John is not leaving the club, but instead wants to be able to enjoy matchdays with his camera, just without the long daily hours he has otherwise been committing on HFC matters.”

With attentions now turning to next season, whenever that may be, we are working hard, and safely, to prepare the stadium and how we may operate when it re-opens.

This includes how we are “raising the bar” behind the bar, to ensure our hygiene levels are what they need to be, and our youth plans for next season are also continuing to develop.

The future is exciting but, from all at Horsham Football Club, please stay safe in the meantime.


  1. Richard Bates says:

    Although sad because he has been absolutely instrumental in getting us where we are today and we’ll be forever in debt to him as a club, I really do admire John for being so forward thinking – how many clubs in the County Leagues, even including the Sussex FA, are stuck with an aged board? The fact John is so selfless and reflective to acknowledge when his strengths have been utilised and that he so willingly would just step aside for younger, hungry people to take the club on again to a new level with their enthusiasm and innovation, built on his foundations, speaks volumes about the man: he truly has, does and always will have the very best interests for the club. A phenomenal servant matched and beaten by very few individuals in the entire history of HFC. I look forward to him becoming a Lardy πŸ‘€πŸ˜‚

    • Roger Harris says:

      I agree with all that has been said about John. Always a very pleasant person to speak to. Strong when he needs to be. He should be honoured locally with at least a Freedom of Horsham award but deserves much more

  2. Godfrey Newman says:

    Thank goodness for John and his never failing hard work. People may not know of his prowess for painting. I have three of them in my flat.

  3. Neil Chartres says:

    Very well done John, for all your tremendous hard work in achieving the new ground that all the supporters were craving for over the last 11 years or so. You have been an amazing servant for Horsham F.C. over the last 15 years, and I have very much enjoyed chatting with you, during that time and also when we used to meet up during the summer months, when I used to see you at Horsham CC when you used to take pictures etc for the District Post.

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