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Fleming given send off

Fleming given send off

Terry Bullen16 Mar 2015 - 20:54
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At half time on Saturday there was a presentation and send off for Craig Fleming, to thank him for everything and to wish him the best in his new job

During half time, Lowestoft Town Chairman Gary Keyzor presented Craig Fleming with a watch and a special memento containing all of the achievements in his time at the club and best wishes message from those who have worked alongside him.
At the same time the Lowestoft faithful gave him a round of applause and reflected on the amazing achievements that he's played a big part in delivering for Lowestoft Town Football Club.

Those achievement are nothing short of incredible; Craig Fleming arrived at the Crown Meadow for the 2008/2009 season and since then the club have won two league titles, while securing three promotions, won the Suffolk Premier Cup on two occasions and reached the FA Cup 1st round proper against Wrexham. He has also played his part with Mick Chapman, Ady Gallagher and more recently Dan Gleeson this season in not only helping the team advance in the Suffolk Premier Cup but in giving the team every opportunity of retaining its place at the highest ever level in the clubs history.

Fleming has now taken up his role with the Academy at Premier League side Southampton but has said that he will visit the Crown Meadow whenever the opportunity arises and I managed to grab one last word with him before his departure.

We've already spoken about your achievements at the club but what memories really stick out for you?

"The obvious one that comes to mind straight away is the play-off final, to eventually win promotion to the Conference and of course the amazing run-in we had to make that possible. We had been written off by certain sections but to fight back with a sensational run of results and finally achieve promotion, was probably the highlight of my time at the club. Within that was our away play-off semi-final at Bognor Regis Town, which was one hell of a performance and probably one of the best performances in my time at the club".

There have also been some great cup moments haven't there, such as the first round of the FA Cup against Wrexham?
"Yeah and Gloucester away is also one that really sticks for me. We earned a replay with Gary McGee scoring in the last minute of stoppage time and I remember me and Chappo ending up in the centre-circle celebrating after the goal. So that was a massive moment that will forever live in the memory".

It's been mentioned by a few people today that your first game was at Walsham-le-Willows and today the side are at home to Stockport County, which says it all really doesn't it?
"It just shows how far the club has come in such a short space of time. The first one at Walsham-le-Willows was a game where there was hardly anyone there apart from a few Lowestoft fans. Then to have this game against Stockport County, which was a hell of a game, is fantastic"

There must be a few humorous moments in there along the way and from within the dressing room?
"Oh there certainly are but this interview needs to stay clean haha. There was a moment recently though, when we stayed overnight for an away match and one of our supporters had a spectacular nose dive at the bar haha. I quote the words 'I can drink wine all night, as it just doesn't affect me' and then three minutes later he's face down after falling off a bar stool. So that was the funniest thing I've seen and the first time I've actually had to put a supporter to bed".

It must have also been nice to see all of the supporters here today to give you a send off and a round of applause at half time?
"Yeah, it's been a great day and it was very nice to speak to a few and to be given a send off like that. It's been a real blast during my time here and leaving after such a successful period knowing that the team are still achieving, which they showed with a brilliant point against Stockport County. It's simply incredible and there's still more to come from this team I think."

Everyone at the club wishes Fleming all the best for the future and I grabbed a few final words of thanks from our Chairman and club Secretary.

Terry Lynes (Club Secretary)
"He's been heavily involved in the most successful period of the clubs history and best wishes to him in what is a fantastic opportunity".

Gary Keyzor (Chairman)
"I'm final glad that we've got rid of him and look at the results since he's not been involved.........nah, I'm only joking of course. He's going to be missed, as his record speaks for itself and he only reminded me today that his first game with us was against Walsham-le-Willows away and his last game here is Stockport County at home. So the transformation of the club during that time is clear to see and is incredible really. The players have a huge amount of respect for him and of course he will be sorely missed by everyone. As a club can you replace someone like that? I don't think so but from the clubs point of view we wish him all the very best in his role at Southampton".

I think joint-manager Ady Gallagher captured the growth of the club during Fleming's time perfectly, with a tweet after the game this weekend:-
Ady Gallagher (twitter)
" From Walsham Le Willows to Stockport County. Thanks you Craig Fleming for 7 great seasons. Good Luck with your new challenge. #LTFC #winner"

I'm sure this isn't the last time that Craig Fleming and Lowestoft Town will cross paths and everyone at Lowestoft Town Football Club would simply just like to say, THANK YOU CRAIG!

Terry Bullen

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