Roger Bates is to step down from his role as Vice Chairman of Lincoln City Football Club on 30th June 2020.
Roger, who has held a number of roles at the Football Club during almost 20 years of voluntary service, has made the decision to step down to spend more time with his family, but will continue his association with the club by retaining his role as a director.
He became a fan watching The Imps in the 1960’s and first became active around the club during the administration period in 2002 by helping to raise funds. He has carried out many vital roles at the club ever since.
Roger began to work with the board of directors in 2008, after becoming an associate director and a member of the Academy’s Youth Development Board. He played an active and vital role in ensuring the Academy continued during the club’s years in the National League when the club received no funding from the Premier League.
Roger became a director in March 2011 and was accountable to the board for the running of the Academy until 2018, as well as undertaking a role on the Executive Committee at the club, before being elected Vice Chairman in June 2018.
“I’ve always intended to take this decision at this time. When I retired from work at 55 I agreed with my wife Deborah that I would concentrate on football for five years, she would concentrate on her interests, and we’d take stock again with the intention of living a more retired life than a working one after that. We got to that point recently and I still wanted to do as we originally thought. So, it’s been something in my mind for a long time.” Roger said.
“Being a member of ExCo and Vice Chairman can be quite time-consuming, but we’ve got some really good people on the board with good ideas and things have progressed so far from where the club was. So, as well as being a decision I wanted to make, I feel it is a good time to step back too.
“I’ve been volunteering in football for over 20 years, with Caythorpe & Fulbeck Junior Football Club before Lincoln City, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Deborah has been massively supportive of me and now’s the time for us to do more things together. But although I’m stepping down from my position as Vice Chairman, I’m not leaving the club. I will still be a director and whilst attending as many games as possible.”
During the past couple of years as Vice Chairman there are two connected events that will always stick in Roger’s mind; one from a club point of view and one which is very personal.
“Getting promoted to League One is definitely one. In my lifetime we’ve only spent eight seasons in League One in total, so for us to be able to get back there and to establish ourselves this past season is fantastic. We felt we had momentum when we returned to the EFL, so to win League Two was great and really rewarding at a club level.”
He continued: “But personally speaking, the memory has to be taking the League Two trophy onto the pitch ahead of the team for the presentation following the Colchester game. To be invited to do that was brilliant and a huge honour. It is something that will be forever cherished in my mind, definitely.”
Everyone at Lincoln City Football Club would like to sincerely put on record our thanks to Roger for his years of voluntary service and dedication across all of the roles he has held with the club to date, and also for his contribution in the two years he has held the position of Vice Chairman. We look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.
Following on from Roger stepping down, the Board are pleased to have appointed Jay Wright as the new Vice Chairman from the 1st July 2020. Jay is a lifelong fan who was first introduced to the Board back in 2014 by Roger and who subsequently contributed to the funding of the Youth Academy during the non-league years.
Jay became a full member of the Board in our National League winning year and is honoured to follow on from Roger in the Vice Chairman position.