Two of Spennymoor Town’s greatest figures will bring their playing days with the club to a close this summer, but it is not the end of their story in Spennymoor.
Defender Chris Mason will not be signing a new playing contract with the club, whilst striker Gavin Cogdon has decided to retire from competitive football.
But both players are prominent figures in the North East’s fitness and wellbeing industry and will now be using their expertise to benefit the club in new ways.
The duo are two of the club’s most successful players of the last 11 years, having played key parts in promotions; cup wins; memorable achievements; and, of course, the FA Vase win in 2013.
Brad Groves, Chief Executive, said: “I’d like to place on record my gratitude to Gavin and Chris for their many years of service and their contribution towards making Spennymoor Town FC what it is today.
“Such has been their influence, we are creating new roles within the club for each of them. These will involve work with the first team as well as the ladies’ team and our flourishing academy set up at Spennymoor Town Youth FC.
“The superb condition they have both kept themselves in throughout their careers is testament to the knowledge and dedication they possess. This, combined with their leadership skills and influence within the squad, meant we did not want to lose them from our set-up and we want them to continue to play a role in the club’s progression for years to come.”
Jason Ainsley, First Team Manager, has expressed his admiration for both players and thanked them for the role they have played in the team’s success over the last decade:
“With a very heavy heart we have decided not offer Chris Mason a new deal.
Mase has been with this football club for 11 years and has been instrumental in where we are today.
He has been a model professional and always a leader amongst the players and beyond across the entire club. As with some of the other players we’re sad to be losing this month, Chris is someone who I’m proud to call a very good friend of mine.
He had the strength and character to come back stronger and more determined after a year out with a cruciate injury, which shows just what type of lad he is. He has been with me and the Chief Executive since well before he joined Spennymoor and he will always be part of the family.
Mr Groves has agreed for Chris to have a testimonial game at The Brewery Field to honour his long-standing service and I’m sure the supporters will turn out in force to thank a player who has been at the very heart of what this club has become.
We are in discussions with Mase to still play a role here. He is a Spennymoor lad and has a vast array of professional experience that can continue to add value well into the future.”
“Gavin has announced his retirement and it is only fitting after what he has done for this football club that he is remembered for some scintillating Spennymoor Town performances over the years.
Despite a few years away from the club, Brad and I brought him back at the start of last season as we knew he would be an asset both on and off the field. I am the first to admit that Gavin didn’t get the game time he wished for, but the performances of Ben and James played a significant part in that.
Gavin did put in some brilliant performances during our run to the Durham Challenge Cup Final, scoring some fantastic goals and terrorising defences throughout the competition, just as he has done in a Spennymoor Town shirt for a large portion of his glittering career. Gav is responsible for one of the greatest moments in our recent history. I’ll always remember him scoring the opening goal of the match in the FA Vase Final at Wembley with a well-placed header and celebrating on the hallowed turf while representing this club.
As a thorough crowd favourite, I know myself and all the supporters will wish Gav a tremendous retirement and thank him for what he has achieved for this football club.”