Chairman wants Morpeth Town to be best club in the North East

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Club chairman Ken Beattie expressed his desire to turn Morpeth Town into the “best club in the North East of England” as the Highwaymen were greeted by thousands on Fair Day.

He was speaking inside the Town Hall after the team paraded the FA Vase trophy through the town centre on Sunday.

Beattie, who has overseen the turnaround at Craik Park, said that it was surreal seeing all the people of Morpeth coming out to see his team celebrate their success.

The Highwaymen beat Hereford FC 4-1 in the final at Wembley in May and were the seventh Northern League team in eight seasons to have reached the showdown.

“It’s a surreal moment to see all these people come out for us and it means so much to the club,” he said.

“We are going to try to make this into the best club in Northumberland and in the North East of England.

“We have got the town behind us. It means a lot to it, it has brought the town together. The amount of support, the amount of comments we’ve had, and tweets, and that sort of thing is surreal.”

The chairman spoke of his pride, but also paid tribute to one person in particular, Donny Carmen, who sadly passed away recently after spending 40 years with the club.

“There is a major sense of pride, and particularly for the people who have been involved with this club for many years,” Beattie said.

“People have given their lives to this club, people like Donny Carmen, who passed away a few weeks ago — his wife and daughter are here today, and I am so proud for them.”

Beattie has again set his sights high for next season, and the aim is to go on and win the Northern League, as well as have strong cup campaigns, and maybe head back to the home of football.

“The aim is the league,” he said. “The aim is to try to have a good season again — once you’ve had a taste of Wembley you want to go back again.

“The Northern League is strong and I think there will be another finalist at least from the Northern League next season.

“We have made six great signings, which has added to the squad, and we believe that we will do well next year.”

Manager Nicky Gray spoke of his delight for Beattie, saying it is “great to see the smile on his face” after such a huge success at Wembley was celebrated at Fair Day.

He said: “Its great to see the smile on his face. Ken and I sometimes have difficult times, but 90 per cent of the time we have good times.

“It must be his proudest day, and I know how he feels. He wants a team that people come up in the street to and say ‘what a fantastic footballing side you’ve got’.

“He loves every player, he hates players moving on. He would have a 30-man squad with 15 on the bench if he could.

“I am delighted for him, and he deserves this day and he deserves more days like this, and that is what were are striving to do.”