THE CHAIRMAN of Basingstoke Town Football Club has stood down.

Terry Brown has announced he is resigning from his position at the helm of the club.

In an open letter, he paid tribute to fans, saying that he was "honoured" to represent the club during "the most difficult times in its history".

He said that the new chairman needs to be able to steer the club into the next decade, where it can "grow and prosper on and off the field into the club this wonderful town truly deserves".

Brown was part of a group of fans who took over control of the club from the Rafi Razzak-controlled Basingstoke Town Ltd.

During his reign, the club has endured financial struggles and was kicked out of its long-term home of The Camrose stadium.

But in the last year, a campaign has led to funding from both fans and the council to upgrade the Hampshire FA complex at Winklebury, allowing the club to return to Basingstoke.

Brown said: "Having had the honour to represent your club, albeit during some of the most difficult times in its history will stay with me forever.

"I would like to thank all of our supporters and the board for everything they have done to ensure that the club survived – despite it living without a home and with only one revenue stream… you – the supporters.

"Having taken over the football licence from the limited company – our objective, and at that stage a difficult one – was to survive financially.

"The only way to achieve this was a move back into Basingstoke.

"Your community club can now sit down at the table with the council and work alongside them to ensure that the residents and children of Basingstoke can access the sports facilities that are becoming of the largest and fastest growing town in Hampshire."

He said that the next phase of the plan was to work with the council to ensure that "the football club and the town get back the second stadium that has been taken from them".

"The largest town in England without a league football club cannot be confined to playing at a ground that can only accommodate Southern Premier Football.

"How can anybody in their right mind think that by losing a second stadium can be seen as enhancing the sporting facilities of 160,000 residents – Sport England must act.

"Now, thanks to you, the community club has a voice in the arena.

"We must double our efforts to ensure we either regain control of the Camrose now planning has been rejected twice and HCC have pulled out of the road.

"I believe this is the right time for me to step down from my position as chairman.

"The new chairman will need the energy, vision and the expertise to drive the club forward into the next decade.

"A decade that I believe will see the club grow and prosper on and off the field into the club this wonderful town truly deserves."

Paying tribute to Brown, the club's vice chairman, Kevin White, said: "The work Terry has done in the face of so many challenges is unbelievable and it has been great working with him.

"He has kept the heartbeat of this club going and done so much for the football club and has kickstarted our community plans.

"On a personal level, I would love to be given the opportunity to be Chairman of this great club and carry on Terry's work and the projects we have in place. The support we are getting is incredible and long may it continue."

Brown was appointed managed of the Dragons in 2016, and became director of football in 2018.

Later that year he took over the reigns of caretaker manager before the appointment of Martin Kuhl, and was also voted chairman of the club.

The 68-year-old joined Basingstoke after managerial stints at Aldershot Town, Margate and Hayes, but his most successful role was at AFC Wimbledon.

During his five year spell at Kingsmeadow, he took the Dons from the Isthmian League to the football league for the first time since their reincarnation.