Stalwart returns in Haverhill Rovers hour of need

Sam Holmes in action for Haverhill Rovers during a freindly against Cambridge City in July 2015 ANL-160224-125426002
Sam Holmes in action for Haverhill Rovers during a freindly against Cambridge City in July 2015 ANL-160224-125426002

Driven by the fear of seeing Haverhill Rovers relegated, former skipper Sam Holmes has agreed to return and help the club out as a player.

Holmes left Rovers last October after eight seasons and more than 210 games (a record only bettered among the current first-team squad by Marcus Hunt) to play for Haverhill Rugby Club.

The sacking of player-manager Michael Shinn last week led to the departure of five first-team players and the absence of many of those still left from Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Thetford Rovers, a game that featured mainly under-21 and under-18 players.

With only two of the starting XI for the match at Hadleigh United on February 19 involved against Thetford, the club asked Holmes if he would be able to help them out and he agreed.

The defender will be available if required for Rovers’ Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division matches at Ipswich Wanderers, on Saturday (3pm), away to Godmanchester Rovers, on Wednesday (7.45pm), and potentially more, providing they do not clash with the rugby club’s fixtures.

“Hopefully they (Rovers) can sort it out because nobody wants to see the club go downhill,” said Holmes.

“I said I would help the club out. I’ve got friends out there and I wouldn’t want to drop them in it.

“I’m a Haverhill lad and I’ve grown up watching them; my dad used to play, and obviously I love it and it’s a shame how it has gone.

“As long as they don’t get relegated. Then they can regroup.”

Haverhill Rovers’ committee issued a statement two days after sacking Shinn, in which the reasons for the dismissal were outlined in detail.

The statement said that Shinn was being dismissed for off-field disciplinary matters and for his failure to satisfactorily meet certain conditions set by the club after he was issued a final written warning.

It also said the committee felt Shinn had ‘undermined’ them and ‘tried to turn players against certain individuals on the committee’ and that ‘he no longer demonstrated a good working relationship with those who work for him on the committee.’

The full statement can be read on our website:

A statement has also been issued by Rovers’ first-team squad via the Haverhill Rovers Fans Facebook page.

The statement said the players have requested a meeting with all the committee members, due to take place last night (Wednesday), in order to ‘evaluate the decision over recent weeks and resolve them.’

It added: “For us this whole issue is a lot bigger than our manager being sacked. This issue is about Haverhill Rovers Football Club and its future.”