Lavant win final game at Raughmere Park – and raise hundreds for Chichester food bank

The Lavant Football Club Legends team emerged victorious in a resounding win in the club’s final game at Raughmere Park .

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 11:24 am

The Legends ran out 7-2 winners in the charity match on Saturday (May 15) against a team from the Portsmouth DADS v DADS branch, and together they raised £395 for Chichester District Foodbank in the process.

Included in the Lavant team was Mr Lavant, super-sub Tony Bleach, who actually played in the first game on the field in 1955.

Work will begin on a new housing development at Raughmere Park next month, with Lavant moving to a new pitch opposite the memorial hall.

The Lavant FC Legends team at Raughmere Park

Tony said: “Losing the top pitch may seem to be a disappointing event for the club, but with negotiations between the developers, Ian Lock, the landowner, the parish council and Lavant FC, it has been agreed that the developers will provide the village with a brand-new sports facility, hopefully to be called the New Raughmere Park, opposite the memorial hall.

“The football pitch will be of a high quality, constructed to meet Sports England and FA standards, plus the new ground will be able to be used for other village sports activities, apart from cricket which will remain played on the adjacent village green.

“This new facility is great for the village and hopefully will act as a springboard for the village football club.”

Raughmere Park was offered to Lavant FC in 1955 by local farmer Ernest Lock to help solve the problem of football and cricket clubs sharing the village green.

Lavant FC Legends super-sub Tony Bleach

This was followed by a formal leasing arrangement in the 1980s between chairman Mick Lovegrove, secretary Tony Bleach and Mr Lock.

Tony said: “The new pitch enabled the club to expand, and at one time, Lavant were fielding three Saturday teams and a Sunday one side, with the first XI using the village green again on limited occasions.”

Construction started on the new pitch in early May and, once drainage is installed and the area re-landscaped, it will take two good two growing season before the new pitch is ready for use – hopefully for the start of the 2022-23 season.

Until then Lavant FC will play their home games at Florence Park in Chichester.

The DADS v DADS partnership creates local football groups to enable lovers of the beautiful game to keep playing during their busy lives.

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