Photo by Jonathan Gawthorpe
Over thirty-seven years ago Phil Rogerson was introduced to Guiseley AFC by his father-in-law, little did he realise then how heavily involved he would become with the club. Having relocated to Cornwall at the end of May 2016, last season Phil has juggled “retirement” with being an arms-length Chairman and has now opted to step down as Chairman and hand over the reins.
During Phil’s tenure, which included the roles of Secretary, Director and Chairman, Guiseley have moved from being in the Northern Counties to the Vanarama Conference North and then, at the fifth attempt in 2015, gained promotion to the Vanarama National League. The latter League has seen some tense matches played at Nethermoor – especially on the two consecutive final days.
Phil’s impact has been far more than just on-field activities, being the driving force behind the Guiseley Academy and the Guiseley Community Foundation.
In 2012 the Academy was established and began with twenty young men enrolled on an education and football training scheme. The Academy plays in the Youth Alliance and Colleges’ Leagues. Academy successes have included professional contracts for Ben Whitfield (Bournemouth FC), Jacob Brown (Barnsley FC), Luke Porritt & Will Wells (Guiseley AFC) and an Academy coaching contract for Ben Walker.
Members of the Academy regularly turn out for the County team, winning the County Cup in 2014 and The English Schoolboys Cup in 2015. Many of the players continue their football careers in tiers 8 and 9.
In the same year the club began a tentative toe-dipping in community activities, which was cemented with the establishment of Guiseley Community Foundation in 2013. The Community Foundation currently works in local primary schools delivering curriculum and after-school activities, runs holiday camps, and works with local partners to deliver fitness and physical activities to all age groups.
Away from the club Phil has actively promoted charitable events including his own participation in a fund-raising Coast to Coast Walk and a charity 100K walk from London to Brighton.
Phil has guided the club through some difficult years but was fortunately at the helm as they reached their highest ever place in the Football Pyramid, and the memories of these promotions hopefully outshine the down times. The Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and supporters of the club all wish Phil a long and happy retirement and look forward to seeing him at Nethermoor on one of his frequent trips to visit family locally.