By Will Hopper
Keighley Cougars have announced that chairman Gary Fawcett is stepping down after eight and a half years in charge.
The League One rugby league club have confirmed that Fawcett’s resignation from the chairman role is due to his other commitments. As well as running the West Yorkshire club, Fawcett is also a director for SkillsForge Ltd.
In a statement released by Keighley Cougars, Fawcett will be officially stepping down on 26th May 2018. This news came just a few a days after the Cougars were defeated at home 24-30 by Whitehaven.
I spoke to Gary Fawcett today and he said: “My other business interests were consuming my time and I have a six month old son who I want to ensure I spend time with. Being Chairman of Keighley Cougars is a demanding role and I needed to reduce my responsibilities.
“However, this provides an opportunity for the club. I am not the only one capable of being a Chairman and, indeed, there may be far better people out there for the role. Through my stepping down I am hoping that some interested parties will come forward and take the club to where it should rightfully be, i.e. vying for promotion to Super League.”
STATEMENT: Gary Fawcett has today given notice he is to step down as the Chairman and a Director of Keighley Cougars 2010 Ltd. as of Saturday May 26th: https://t.co/dndWlBH33j #KCRL18 #CDQ pic.twitter.com/0cMBnVhPnE
— Keighley Cougars (@Cougarmania) May 2, 2018
Head Coach Craig Lingard spoke about his shock when hearing this news.
He said: “I am still processing the news myself. In my dealings with Gary, he was very passionate about Keighley Cougars and had been extremely supportive of myself since I arrived at the club and I thank him for this.”
Under Fawcett’s supervision, the Cougars won the League One Cup in 2016 and promotion to the Championship back in 2011.
Keighley have a hard task in front of them if they are to win promotion this year. With big clubs like Bradford Bulls and York City Knights currently occupying the top of the League One table, it would surely be a shock if the Cougars could upset one of those two teams.
The West Yorkshire Club currently sit 7th in League One having won half of their eight games played so far. Keighley take on Coventry Bears at Cougar Park this coming Sunday. How will the team respond following this news?