The football club was delighted to receive this letter from Gareth Davies after he secured the post of Sports Editor at the St Austell Voice:
Dear Swanage Town & Herston Football Club,
Most kids growing up want to be a professional footballer and whilst I had genuine aspirations to be the next Luther Blissett, I was never that good, despite my gold Puma King boots.
In fact, I enjoyed watching football more than playing and when I was 18, I was offered a place to study Sports Journalism at Northampton University.
For one reason or another I never took up that opportunity and for many years, I often thought my dream job of working as a sports journalist would always be an aspiration and would never become reality.
Back in 2009, something changed however as your then Chairman and my good friend Adrian Bishop, who knew of my interest in the media, asked if I would like to help the club with the Days Park matchday programme.
I jumped at this particular opportunity and quickly, ‘The Swan’ became renowned as one of the best programmes in the DPL.
Naturally, the committee then asked if I could oversee all press related matters, which included social media channels and the official website – I think I even ended up driving the mini-bus to an away game once, but that’s for another day!
In 2013, it’s a well-known fact that the club endured some very turbulent times and I decided to relinquish all my roles at Days Park for a variety of reasons, but not before The Swan was voted 21st Nationally out of 500 entries in the Soccer Club Swap Shop Non-League Programme awards.
At the time, Swanage’s effort finished above 19 clubs playing in National League and it was something that I and the club felt very proud to have achieved.
As one door shut another opened though and after taking a backward step I took up a role at AFC Bournemouth writing articles for their programme and on the back of this, I began freelancing for Newsquest who publish the Bournemouth Echo and Swanage Advertiser.
In 2016, my wife and I decided to move to Cornwall to pursue a business opportunity and since living West, I have picked up work freelancing for publications covering football and rugby.
Earlier this month, I was offered the position of Sports Editor at the St Austell Voice newspaper and naturally, I accepted!
Finally, I have achieved an ambition that I have held since my youth, but without Swanage and everyone at the club, I would not be where I am today.
I would like to thank-you for that initial opportunity and despite it not all being a bed of roses, it was a fantastic experience.
Of course, my focus is now on the fortunes of clubs such as AFC St Austell, St Blazey and Sticker, but one result I will always look out for at 5pm on a Saturday is that of Swanage, the place where it all began.
All at Day’s Park would like to place on record their appreciation of Gareth's superb efforts at the football club and we wish him well in the future.
Updated 22:29 - 26 Oct 2018 by Swanage FC