Fans’ favourite Hunter to leave Horsham FC

Michael Hunter says he's devastated to leave Horsham
Michael Hunter says he's devastated to leave Horsham

Goalkeeper Michael Hunter is set to play his last game for Horsham FC this Saturday.

But the popular player could be denied a send off with the Hornets’ Ryman South match away at Chipstead already doubtful because of the continued wet weather.

Hunter, the Supporters’ Play of the Season last year, has just got a new job in central London, where he is now based, making it impossible for him to make mid-week games.

Player manager Gary Charman explained: “I’ve sat down and spoken to Michael, and although he would be OK to play Saturdays, because his new job is too far away for him to make Tuesday night games we’ve both taken the decision that Saturday will be his last game.

“He couldn’t guarantee me he was available for the rest of the season and I can’t have my goalkeeper unable to make mid-week games.

“He’s absolutely gutted but at our level a job has to come before playing football because everyone needs to make a living.

“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper and extremely popular with all the players and supporters. I hope they turn out on Saturday, if it’s on, to give him a good send off.”

With heavy rain forecast all day on Friday, Hunter could be denied a well-deserved farewell if the game at Chipstead falls the same was as the Hornets’ recent matches.

Both their Saturday match at home to Hythe and Tuesday night’s trip to Eastbourne Borough were postponed because of waterlogged pitches, the ninth game in the last 11 to fall foul of the relentless wet weather.

Charman added that Hunter - an ever-present in the side since joining three years ago - would remain signed on at the club but only play in emergencies.

Kieron Thorp, recently signing from Crawley Down Gatwick as cover for Hunter over the Christmas period, will take over as Horsham’s number one goalkeeper after the weekend.

For an interview with Michael Hunter - who says he is “devastated” at having to leave and won’t play for any other club but Horsham - pick up today’s West Sussex County Times.