It is with much sadness for all at Cray Wanderers to announce that Life President and Club Secretary Kerry Phillips has decided to step down from his role as Secretary due to ill health. I’m sure everyone will join me in wishing Kerry a speedy recovery and hope he enjoys plenty of recuperation in helping do this.
Kerry has had a 25 year involvement with Cray Wanderers as well as spells as secretary of Bromley and Dulwich Hamlet.
Kerry was born on 30/12/1937 in The London Hospital, Stepney but hails originally from West London. His profession was in the photography and printing trade.
He became club secretary in the summer of 1991 after answering an advertisement from the club as the Wands needed a new secretary. The club was in a bit of turmoil then as we had lost our manager, entire team, sponsor and the Rectory Lane ground project had collapsed. So Kerry provided some much needed stability.
He came to Oxford Road and soon established himself as a most popular and efficient officer of the club. So much so that both Bromley FC and Dulwich Hamlet FC tempted him away, to do the job for them!
Also when Kerry was in office at Bromley FC in 1998 he played a key diplomatic role in helping the Wands to secure a ground-sharing arrangement at Hayes Lane. At that time the future of Cray Wanderers as a Kent League club was under threat because Oxford Road did not meet the new grading requirements. Kerry's important help at this critical time in Cray Wanderers history must always be remembered.
Retirement and a move away to Suffolk with his wife Carole brought a temporary end to Kerry's work as a club secretary. By then, his football work had already started to reduce, for he and Carole were spending every mid-winter enjoying the warmer weather in Spain!
A favourite memory of Kerry circa 2000 was the receipt of text-messages from him at 5pm on Saturdays, asking for Cray's result in the Kent League that day. One text simply said: "Spain is agog for news of Cray!"
Also, when living in Suffolk, Kerry organised a series of annual pre-season friendlies with Woodbridge Town, from near where he lived. These were very enjoyable days out. There was even a "Kerry Phillips Trophy" to play for!
Kerry always kept in contact with Cray Wanderers and indeed his experience of Ryman League football at Bromley and Dulwich Hamlet meant that he could offer invaluable good advice when the Wands were promoted into the Ryman League in 2004.
Kerry and Carole moved back to Kent, settling in Greenhithe. It did not take long for Gary Hillman to start twisting Kerry's arm and urging him to resume work for Cray Wanderers. To everyone's delight at the Wands, Kerry returned to the fold as Club Secretary where to no one's surprise he again proved to be a splendid officer and ambassador of Cray Wanderers. Kerry also became a member of the committee of the London FA starting in 2012.
Jeanne Jackson mentions “Kerry is a true Gentleman and a stickler for the rules. He has got Cray out of many a scrape with the FA who looked forward to his letters appealing a fine or maybe a rule we had violated and they were read out aloud to the committee sitting at the time. He once blamed the Cockatoos in the trees at Oxford Road for some violation! Because of his persiflage (banter!) we were let off very often I'm sure leniently. Kerry has a love of words and does the Daily Telegraph Crossword every day if he can. I discovered the word persiflage and relayed it to him and he came straight back with "that he was never guilty of prolix” ...... that stumped me and I had to look it up and he's right never guilty”
Kerry is a lifelong QPR supporter and he has a penchant for Gevrey Chambetin wine.
Cray Chairman Gary Hillman paid his own compliments to Kerry.
“I would like to Thank Kerry for everything he has done for the club over the last 25 years. As club secretary for most of that time he has been an important part of the history and success for us gaining promotion to The Ryman Premier League a few years ago. When I was first invited to be Chairman his enthusiasm and professionalism was one of the main reasons why I decided to join and we’ve been very close since, apart from him supporting QPR!! I would like to wish him all the best and look forward to inviting him along to Flamingo Park for our first game if all goes well“
Good luck Kerry and thank you from us all.
Thank you to Jeanne Jackson, Jerry Dowlen, Pete Goringe and Gary Hillman for their assistance in compiling this piece.