Sussex County FA

Board of Directors

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Mathew Major

Mathew Major
Chairman

Matt was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, but came to live and work in Sussex over thirty years ago. Whilst working in Oxfordshire, he became a sponsor of Oxford United FC, in the old First Division and experienced the mix between business and football. Years later, he put this to good use when he became a Director of Worthing Football Club, where it was his job to raise the playing budget funds each season.

Since moving to Sussex, he has always lived in Brighton and had a business there for many years. During that time, he was also Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses for eight years, representing nine hundred local businesses. He also sat on several regeneration panels and worked closely with the Council on several business partnerships. Throughout that time, he met Dick Knight, then Chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion FC, and together they agreed that Brighton's Reserves should play their matches at Worthing FC’s ground, whilst the first team were playing at Gillingham. 

In business, he has spent his career in the recycling, data destruction, and waste disposal industries, and have run several large recycling contracts, including the BBC (8 years), Land Securities (9 years), IBM UK (12 years) and American Express Europe (22 years).

In football, he was a sponsor of Shoreham FC (1992-94), Director of Worthing FC (1995-2001), Vice Chairman of Southwick FC (2002-3) and Chairman and Owner of Shoreham FC (2007-13).

In 2009, he joined the Sussex County FA as a Council Member, becoming a Director in 2011 and Deputy Chairman in October 2013. In December 2013, he became Chairman, and was re-elected in 2015 and again in 2018. He combines his love of football with his experience in business and has overseen many changes within the organisation, most notably the installation of the 3G pitch, but also the restructure of the Association and the enlargement of the Board.

John Edwards

John Edwards
Deputy Chairman

John was born in London and after spells in Middlesex, Buckinghamshire and Essex, he finally moved to Sussex in the mid 1970’s. It was here that he started his love of gardening and he managed two large estates over a period of ten years. He then spent just over twenty years in metal recycling with one of Europe’s largest metal recyclers.

His introduction to football came via Ringmer Rovers where he was Assistant Manager and stayed with them from Under-10s through to Under-16s. It was during this time that Chris Christoff, the Secretary of the club, passed him an advert about the Mid Sussex Youth League looking for a Secretary. After having his application accepted, he began the role in 1987, and is still in office to the present day.

The Treasurer of the League, the late John Cripps, then persuaded him to try for the position of a member on the Sussex County FA, where he also still remains today. He later applied to become a Director of the Association, and was duly elected by fellow County Members, before being elevated to the position of Deputy Chairman in 2018.

John has supported Tottenham Hotspur for over sixty years, and seen them through the good and bad times. Apart from his interests in football and gardening, his other great interest is history in all shapes and forms.

Mo Abbas

Muhammad Abbas Abdulla

To follow...

Jo Ashworth

Jo Ashworth

Jo is originally from the Bolton area and her football journey began as a player for both Bolton & Preston, she also qualified as an FA Level 2 coach whilst she was at University. She managed a couple of top tier games at Wolverhampton and had the pleasure of playing against Arsenal at Highbury.

She then spent time coaching in the USA before getting involved with the Lancashire FA. She has worked in Football Development roles for three different County FA’s, Lancashire, Westmorland and Northamptonshire before moving to the South Coast over ten years ago. Jo also spent time co-ordinating the Blackburn Rovers Centre of Excellence.

Since then she has worked for the Football Foundation and more recently Active Sussex, working across children and young people’s projects in Sussex, including the School Games and participation projects to engage young people in sport and physical activity.

Since moving to Sussex Jo continued to play football at Hayward’s Heath and has coached with community clubs, boys, girls and women’s teams. By her own admission her legs have now slowed somewhat, and so she can now be found on the golf course and she sits on England Golf’s Women’s and Girls advisory group, along with helping on her own club’s committee.

Jo has tutored The FA Safeguarding Children Courses since they were first introduced and she enjoys the interaction with clubs and volunteers. Her experience has proved useful in her role as Board Champion for Safeguarding with the Sussex County FA.

Her love of football extends to Bolton Wanderers, and to compensate for that she has a membership at FC Barcelona - which allows her to combine her passions of language, travel and football.

Jo was keen to become a Director so she could bring some of her professional and personal experience back into the game. Volunteering is important to her and she wants to see the best for football in Sussex, and for everyone.

Mike Brown

Mike Brown

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Charles Dudley

Charles Dudley

Sport has always played an important part in Charles' life, particularly football and cricket. He started playing senior football and cricket in Hampshire at a very young age. After graduating with a politics degree at the University of Warwick (where he also played football), he worked for the Greater London Council Planning Department before moving to Sussex in 1976 to take up a position at the University of Sussex. As soon as he arrived he joined a local football team and played and managed at County League level for a number of years.

His role at the University was wide ranging including: campus master planning and estate development, the sport service, student housing, travel and transport, catering strategy, contracts and leases, childcare services and community engagement. He was also Chairman of the Falmer Alms-houses Trust. In recent years the demands of the role required him to step back from football other than being a spectator. He retired from the University in July 2017 and provided some consultancy until January 2018. He still helps out on occasions.

Charles continues his involvement with cricket by being a Lord’s Taverner, the national charity for cricket. He is a past Chairman of the East Sussex Region. Football-wise he supports both Arsenal and AFC Wimbledon, he also looks out for the results of Aldershot, Coventry City and Farnborough Town.

He was appointed as a Director of the Sussex County FA in 2018 and is passionate about giving something back to the game which has given him such pleasure and enjoyment over many years. A number of his closest friends he has met through being involved in football.

Pauline Fox

Pauline Fox

Pauline is Sussex born and raised, she has a grown up family, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Her career in Health Care commenced with general nurse training in 1969, specialising later in mental health and then learning disability. Posts varied across the NHS, the private sector and in later years the charity sector.

Advancing into healthcare business management opened many employment opportunities for her and her final job move into the charity sector which led to fifteen rewarding years in upper management, initially as General Manager then later as CEO of a local organisation supporting people with disabilities. The charity was supported by a local football club therefore offering time to undertake voluntary duties was a natural progression as retirement approached.

She has a keen interest in youth work and community involvement, that together with a working knowledge of safeguarding and business practices led to the role of Club Welfare Officer at Worthing Town FC. This role remains to date together with the more recent responsibility of Club CEO.

Pauline joined our Board of Directors in 2017 where she utilises her skills to contribute where possible to the work in progress. She is also a committee member of the Sussex Disability Football League and Chair of our Inclusion Advisory Group.

Tony Kybett

Tony Kybett

Tony was born in Eastbourne and his first taste of Sussex football was at Eastbourne United from the age of 6. He enjoyed many happy days at The Oval where he learnt the phrase often heard at a match “keep it on the island”.

He qualified as a referee with the Royal Naval FA in 1966 and also played for them. When on leave he was involved with Archery Nomads of the Sunday League Eastern Football Division.

Tony registered as a referee in Sussex in the mid 1970’s and was promoted to Class 1 in May 1985 joining the Sussex County Football League referee list. He was invited to join the Vauxhall Opel League in 1987, although his business commitments (Independent Financial Adviser) meant he could no longer referee at that level so he stopped refereeing in May 1988.

He has had several roles in football at all levels within Sussex, player, referee, assessor, coach, chairman, secretary, commercial manager and scout. In 2002 Tony joined the Sussex County FA Council and was elected on to the Board of Directors in 2010. He was elected as The FA representative in 2013, and is presently serving on both the Futsal and Disability Committees.

Richard Sargeant

Richard Sargeant

From an early age Richard had a massive passion for football. He moved from Cambridgeshire to Sussex in 1989 and he played football for various local teams and eventually started refereeing. He is currently a Level 4 referee, officiating on Southern Combination Football League and Bostik Football League.

He works for West Sussex Trading Standards Service as a Team Manager, ensuring consumers are protected and honest businesses supported. He has worked overseas in eight countries such as Egypt, Bosnia, Armenia and Lithuania, as a lead expert on consumer protection. He is very grateful for all the support from his family, friends and colleagues.

Richard is keen to make positive changes for the benefit for all those involved directly and indirectly with football in Sussex. As a referee, he has a good insight into football both adult and youth, at various levels, from club chairman and managers, to players and supporters, which he hopes to be able to input effectively with us.

As a director he has responsibilities for legal matters, leagues and refereeing and is happy to discuss ideas with anyone to improve these and any other footballing areas.

Elizabeth Symons

Elizabeth Symons

Liz was born in London but moved to Mid Sussex when she was five years old. When she got married she moved to Uckfield in East Sussex where she has lived for over thirty years.

All of her working life has been spent in the leisure industry. She was originally a lifeguard and swimming instructor at a local leisure centre, before working as a swimming instructor at a local school. In 2001 she became a Football Development Officer at the Kent FA, with responsibility for women and girls football. She worked for Kent for sixteen years with her job role changing from time to time, she covered youth and adult football, charter standard and sat on the national working group for walking football.

She played football for fifteen years at Shoreham Ladies, and she still plays stoolball and enjoys walking. Both of her children have played for local football teams.

Liz has a lot to give to grassroots football and is very passionate that all players, coaches, managers, referees, parents and spectators should have an enjoyable experience in a safe environment.

Thura Win

Thura K T Win

To follow...

Jack Woolsey

Jack Woolsey

Jack is a Finance Manager within the Financial Services industry, where he leads a team to monitor, challenge, report and advise on overhead expenditure within the business and look after the budgeting process.

He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and has come from a strong financial background having worked with a number of major companies across the travel, utilities, aerospace and defence industries, which has allowed him to gain a wide range of commercial finance acumen.

When Jack isn’t crunching numbers, he is a keen runner and has to date completed four marathons, as well as being a leader in run fitness at his local running club. He also likes nothing better than spending time with his young family and walking the family dog.

Jack is a huge football fan and can often be found watching Crawley Town on a Saturday afternoon with his son, he also supports West Ham United.

Having seen what a big impact football can have on people away from the bright lights of the Premier League, Jack decide that he would love to give something back to the community and help in any way he could so when the opportunity came around to join our board Jack didn’t have to think twice joining in 2018.