You couldn’t miss it walking behind Geeks’ Corner… the big red rectangle, aka Mike Moyes’ shopping emporium, where Fleet fans could buy their replica shirts, He Scores When He Wants T-shirts and other quality retail offerings.
Then all of a sudden it was gone. I thought I would help explain why the old club shop had to go and where it ended up. The planning permission obtained for the new Main Stand, including the relocation of the club shop, required EUFC to remove from our site the old shop once our new retail outlet was open for business.
Faced with the challenge of finding a new home and actually getting the container lifted from its corner of Stonebridge Road, I mentioned this to a fellow director of mine at Countrystyle Recycling, Jamie Houston, who has been a long-time sponsor and connected with Southern Counties East League Premier Division side, Bearsted FC. Jamie said that Bearsted were looking for a directors’/sponsors’ hospitality lounge. On seeing the Fleet club shop in situ, Jamie and I set about organising its removal and short journey to Honey Lane, Otham, near Maidstone, where it has received a new coat of paint and signage.
Bearsted FC was founded in 1895 and is one of the oldest clubs in Kent. Originally playing on Bearsted Green, the club moved to Honey Lane, Otham in 1998 to enable them to compete in the Premier Division of the Kent County League. Bearsted is a senior club and has teams representing the Kent Invicta League, Kent County League, Kent Youth League, Maidstone & Mid Kent Sunday League, Maidstone & District Minor Primary League and Invicta Primary League.
Bearsted chairman, Duncan Andrews, said: “As anyone involved in non-league football knows, any support and help you can get to take your club forward is always greatly appreciated and we at Bearsted are hugely grateful to all at Ebbsfleet for allowing us to make good use of your old club shop container as our hospitality lounge as EUFC moves into its new state-of-the-art facilities.”