Sussex County FA

Board of Directors

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Mathew Major

Mathew Major
Chairman

Matt was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, but before settling in Sussex over 30 years ago, he spent time working in Oxford, where he became a sponsor of Oxford United FC, who were then in the old First Division. There, he experienced at first-hand, the mix between business and football. Years later, he put this to good use when he became a Director of Worthing Football Club in the Isthmian League.

After moving to Brighton, Matt became Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses for 8 years, representing 900 local businesses. He also sat on several regeneration panels and worked closely with the Council on several business partnerships. During this time, he met Dick Knight, the 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, Matt has spent his career in the waste and recycling industry, and has 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, Matt joined the Sussex County FA as a Council Member; a Director from 2011; and Deputy Chairman in October 2013. In December 2013, he became Chairman, and was re-elected in 2015 and 2018. He combines his love of football with his business experience 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

Having been raised in the heart of Sussex in Brighton, Muhammad (Mo) had always been interested in getting involved in as many local sporting activities as possible, particularly football, cricket and rugby. He enjoyed stints with Montpellier Villa FC, training with their team at Falmer and then playing cricket for St. Peters CC.

Mo first discovered the Sussex County FA through his cousin who was a referee in the county. Having seen him officiate a game, Mo decided that this would be a great way to develop as a person, equip him with vital life skills and most importantly be another avenue for him to enjoy and be part of the game. Having taken up the whistle soon after he graduated from university, Mo has enjoyed officiating on several local leagues, including the Isthmian league and a year refereeing in Switzerland with the North-West Switzerland Football Association, with his biggest game being a friendly between FC Basel and FC Luzern.

Professionally, Mo has read German, Spanish and European Studies at Queen Mary, University of London graduating in 2012 and thereafter having returned to the county to complete his Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Sussex in 2014. Mo is the CEO of Trademark Brothers, which he established in 2016 and also works for the UK Civil Service as an International Trade specialist.

Mo’s interests lie in commercial aspects of the County FA and increasing Diversity and Inclusion across the game. Mo had already been involved in the Referee Diversity Action Group at The FA level and was selected and sponsored by The FA to complete the ‘On The Board’ Effective Board Member programme at St. George’s Park before finally being appointed to the Board of Directors at the Sussex County FA in 2018. 

Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Mike has been involved in adults’ grassroots football for over 50 years, initially playing in the Sussex Sunday Football League and then in the Brighton, Hove & District Football League when Brighton Telephones FC was reformed in the early 80s.

Early on in his playing career he started taking on club administration roles (Treasurer, then Chairman and Secretary). During his time as Secretary, he was persuaded to join the Brighton League Management Committee, again taking on administration roles and becoming the Treasurer in the early 90s. Mike succeeded Ken Benham as Secretary of the League in 2000.

Mike has served on the Sussex County FA since 2007, becoming a Director in 2011 where he is responsible for Human Resources. He is also the General Secretary of the Mid Sussex Football League and Treasurer and Trustee of the Sussex County FA Benevolent Fund.

In his professional life, Mike trained as an engineer and after many career progressions became a Project Director for Global IT programmes. On taking early retirement in 2005, he set up his own company working in the finance sector.

In his spare time Mike plays badminton and cricket, as well as being a Brighton & Hove Albion season ticket holder.

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 Isthmian 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 KT Win, JP LLM

Thura first got involved in football administration by qualifying as a referee with Sussex County FA in the early 1980s. He is currently the Chairman of the Women’s Football Conference, and is an elected representative on The FA Council since 2007; a member of The FA Women’s Football Board, FA Judicial Panel and Chairmen Panel for disciplinary commissions and appeal boards; and The FA National Chairman Panel for anti-discrimination cases. He is also a UEFA Match Delegate and has so far been appointed to UEFA Europa League, UEFA Youth League and U21 European Championship matches around Europe. He has also recently been appointed as a Trustee of Crawley Town Community Foundation.

Thura had previously served on The FA’s: Women’s Football Committee, Business Development Committee, Sanctions and Registrations (Rules) Committee, National Game IT Committee, Football Development Committee, Inclusion Advisory Board, Race Equality Advisory Group, FA Tutor for Equality and Race Equality; and chaired FA Women’s Premier League and FA Safeguarding Review Panel.

He is an IT Consultant with over thirty years’ experience and has developed many IT systems during his career. Thura has been a Magistrate in Hampshire since 2004, where he continues to sit as a presiding justice in adult and youth courts, and was the Chairman of the Bench, responsible for around 180 magistrates. He is a member of Wiltshire, Hampshire & Isle of Wight magistrates training and authorisation committee, which is responsible for around 700 magistrates in the area. Thura also has a Master of Laws degree in Sports Law and Practice.

Upon his return to Sussex from Hampshire, where he was a Director and Deputy Chairman of Hampshire FA over many years, Thura offered his experience and services to Sussex County FA. He was elected onto Sussex County FA in 2013 and then as a Board Director in 2016.

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.