An Evening with Frank Clark
The LOFT 2006 AGM was held on Thursday 30 November at the Leyton Orient Supporters Club. The special guest speaker was former Orient, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City manager - and now Vice-Chairman of the League Managers Association - Frank Clark.
Once the formal business of the AGM was completed - see below - Frank answered questions from the floor about his time in football before, at and after Orient. Among the highlights of an entertaining evening were:
- The best player he ever managed was Stan Collymore, who should have been an England regular had he fulfilled his potential.
- The best deal he ever did was signing Kevin Hales for Orient, who was offered £200 a week "take it or leave it" as that was all the club could afford, which thankfully he accepted and went on to serve the O's for many years.
- He never took the 'Clark Out' chants personally, and managers that can't cope with that side of football management should find another business. The fans that chant for the manager's head the loudest are usually the most ardent supporters, and the most important thing about fans is that they do come to games.
- His proudest achievement was being part of the genesis of what is now the Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme, which he helped initiate as only the third 'Football in the Community' scheme and is rightly recognised as one of the best in the country.
- His guitar hero was Lonnie Donegan, but reports of him taking his guitar to away games were exaggerated by Brian Clough; he only took it along once!
LOFT is grateful to Frank for taking the time to come and talk to LOFT's members and other Orient fans who attended, and we are also grateful to the Supporters Club for hosting the evening.
At the AGM, the following resolutions were passed:
- That LOFT's Rules be amended to allow for an Independent Examination to take place instead of a full audit. This is a change recommended by Supporters Direct, so that societies such as LOFT whose turnover does not exceed a certain limit do not have to incur the expense of a full audit.
- That an Independent Examination be carried out in place of a full audit for the year ending 31 May 2007.
Keith Hallam and Jack Pridmore were elected to the committee, and Jonathan Kaye, Tom Davies, Mike Randall and Paul Arnup were all re-elected after standing down under LOFT's Rules. The Committee page will be updated shortly to reflect the additions to the committee.
The Chair's report for the year covered LOFT's activities, ranging from sponsorship of Theo's Gang and initiation of the successful Summer Fun Day, to campaigning on behalf of all O's fans regarding the Charlton ticketing situation earlier this year and the ongoing situation regarding the North Stand planning application.
It was also noted under Any Other Business that the LOFT five-a-side team goes from strength to strength, and that the 11-a-side team recently won its first game!