The History of Marlow Sports Club
Marlow Sports Club was formed in 1949 when the Wethered Brewery agreed to lease land for sports, thereby allowing the fledgling Club to pull together a number of different organisations. The Club has existed on the Pound Lane site ever since, paying a small ‘peppercorn’ rent to Wethered Brewery, later known as Whitbread. The Club and the ground have together enjoyed some wonderful occasions, including visits from County and touring international cricket teams to use one of the best wickets in the county. Other sections have seen notable events including the Marlow Half Marathon and the Marlow Hockey Club celebrating its centenary in 2009. In 2006, Whitbread decided to put the main ground up for sale at Auction. After a local out-cry, Whitbread withdrew from the Auction and allowed Marlow Sports Club to put forward a proposal to purchase the land directly. With the help of many local dignitaries, business people and interested organisations, that proposal was accepted and sale of the land was completed finally, in March 2011. In 2006, the Environment Agency (EA) were coincidentally proposing a flood relief scheme for this area of Marlow which involved putting ‘bunds’ onto the back field behind the Club pavilion. Marlow Sports Club identified that these ‘bunds’ could be built to form two sides of an all Weather Hockey Pitch. The EA agreed to make this a combined project for the benefit of the community, and the pitch was completed in Autumn 2011. September 2013 saw the Club secure a further 10 acres, adjacent to the existing site. To ensure the best use of this extra space the trustees are currently in consultation with; it’s members; the local authorities; Environmental Agency; other Sporting Bodies and the broader Marlow community. In the last three years the Club has gone from renting 5.5 acres to owning around 20 acres, which are now secured from potential inappropriate development and for the recreational use of the local community.
Our Mission and Values
Our purpose: “Promoting Sport in the Marlow Community”
What we stand for:
- Open to all, irrespective of age; background; physical situation
- Create a place where all ages can learn and enjoy sport together for life
- Preserve Marlow’s beautiful green space for future generations and create a sanctuary away from the home, office and school
- Create a vibrant centre for the community to meet and socialise, get and stay fit and enjoy life
- Promote physical and emotional growth, well-being and self-belief to fulfil individual potential
Marlow Sports Club is a registered charity set up to provide sporting and recreational facilities for the people of Marlow and the surrounding area.
The charity trustees are:
John Fordham – President
John was made President of the Club in March 2013 in recognition of his leadership in securing the original parcels of land from their previous ownership for the Club. He has been a senior member of Marlow Cricket Club since 1993. John is a Director of a Health Care company. He continues to be a significant contributor to the on-going progress being made by the Club.
Paul Sambrook – Chairperson
Long standing member of Marlow Sports Club, with over 35 years of involvement, including being a previous chairman of Marlow Men’s Hockey Club. Paul has a variety of other interests, including being Vice Chairman of an established leisure company operating several leisure centres in Oxfordshire, Kent and Hampshire. Before retiring, he was a senior manager with Diageo and worked in various roles both in the UK and abroad.
Roger Dye – Treasurer
Roger has lived in Marlow for nearly 30 years. Denise and he have three daughters, all of whom are now away from home, but their eldest, Sarah, is a member of the Club. Roger’s career has been predominantly in international finance, although he spent the last four years as the Chief Executive of a Stock Exchange listed company. He retired somewhat early at the end of 2009 – his decision, not theirs!! Since then, he has been securing opportunities where he can offer back his experience and expertise to others, be they company managements, education institutions, clubs, individuals etc.
Sally has strong connections not only within the town, but also Marlow Sports Club. She was a governor of Borlase for 9 years. Also chaired the Borlase Hockey Support Group. All of her children have reached elite status in their chosen sports ie Athletics, Hockey and Show Jumping. She has been a tennis member in the past and her children have played hockey at the Club.
Neil and his family have lived in Marlow for 30 years. Now retired from full time working, he is currently a non executive member of the Strategic Board at Amicus Horizon (a large social housing provider with focus in London and the South East providing some 27500 housing units), For four years until 2012 he was the Director responsible for HR, Security and Estates/Facilities at the Department for International Development. Before then, Neil’s career was with British Airways where from October 2002 to January 2007 he was Director for People and a member of the executive management team. A chartered fellow of CIPD and a member of the Institute of Directors, Neil is a social member of Marlow Sports Club. His wife, Carol, is a member of the Tennis Section.
The Board of Trustees are supported by a Management Committee comprising of representatives of each Member Section Club.
To support the voluntary positions, the club employ a catering manager and a groundsman, both on a part-time basis.
The Club also has a wholly owned subsidiary trading company, Marlow Sports Club Trading Company, which handles all the commercial or non-charitable activity of the club.
Our Patrons are:
Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
Has won medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000 as well as a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Games, totalling six Olympic Medals. He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships golds. With the five gold medals and one bronze he is the most successful male rower in Olympic history. In 2011 he received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement. He is strongly involved in many charity . For example, Through his participation in the 2006 Flora London Marathon, he raised in excess of £1.7m for his charitable Steve Redgrave Trust, helping its fundraising total over the £5m mark. The people of Marlow are very proud that Steve was born, brought up and still lives in our community.
Sir Clive Woodward OBE
Andrew Strauss OBE
Is a former captain of the England Cricket Team. He became only the third every England captain to win the Ashes home and away. He was a key contributor in the highly contested 2005 Ashes test series, his prolific run scoring and consistency contributing to England regaining the Ashes for the first time in 18 years. One of the most respected and highly rated cricketers in the world. Andrew and his wife Ruth live in Marlow with their family. The boys are regular attendees on a Friday night for Colts training, where dad can also be seen helping out.
She is a member of the England and Great Britain women’s field hockey teams. The Reading Hockey Club forward is one of the youngest ever England internationals, having made her senior debut at just 16 years of age, whilst still at school. Alex is a former BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year nominee and has achieved over 200 international caps to date. She has competed successfully in many high profile events, most recently taking home a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She has a huge passion for sport and life and truly believes that with hard work, energy and belief everyone can achieve their dreams. Recently taking on the role of National Athlete Mentor, sponsored by Sky Sports – working on “Living for Sport” projects helping them to continue to develop and improve many young peoples’ lives through sport. Alex is now another resident of Marlow!
Company registration number: 692958
Charity number: 1139862