Football doyen Bath steps down
LESS than a week after the departure of their development manager Richard Mitchell, Football Bundaberg (FB) has suffered another setback with chairman of the past six years, Greg Bath, handing in a letter of resignation on Monday.
But it was not unexpected and totally understandable prior to the FB AGM next month as most of Bath’s attention over the past few months has naturally been focused on supporting his fiancée Karen McIlroy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October.
Karen, who also has been a wonderful FB servant, mainly in the areas of bar and canteen, underwent a mastectomy on Melbourne Cup Day. She is now in the middle of a harrowing chemotherapy program, and will also have to endure five weeks of radiotherapy when that is finished.
Bath, who also served on the FB Board for four years before taking the reins, has been instrumental in facilitating many visionary developments and initiatives.
The formation of the Bundaberg Toyota Spirit in the Queensland State League, the introduction of Third Division men’s and Second Division women’s, visits by Solomon Islands and Japan teams, and hosting the Young Matildas camp at Martens Oval, are just a few of his highly successful projects.
“But one of the things I am proudest of is juniors coming through the roof in the last three years,” Bath said.
“I was also very happy to have talked Richard Mitchell into coming back from Darwin and taking up his position three years ago, and we made a good team and put runs on the board.
“Bundaberg won the Wide Bay championship last year for the first time for years and development of our juniors did that. Our Sports Medicine facility, which we opened four years ago, is second to none, and I will continue to chair the Sports Med area and coordinate the team.
“But unfortunately I cannot give the 30 to 40 hours per week that is needed at Football Bundaberg to undertake the position correctly.
“Karen and I are focusing on our wedding day in September and we have a strong battle ahead for many months so it is better if the association gets a new person to head it up and to continue to drive this wonderful sport locally.”
Bath said there are many people he owes a wealth of gratitude to, headed by Football Queensland chair Geoff Foster.
“Our hard-working groundsman Barry Thomas has been a great mate to work with over the years, and a big thanks also to my secretary and friend Kim Tominich, administration officer Jim Cairney and Richard Mitchell,” he said.
“I would also like to thank the wonderful team of volunteers whom I have had the pleasure of working with over the years and who have been inspirations to me, and thanks too to the presidents of the clubs.”
Karen, who remains very positive despite all that she has been through, has encouraged all women aged 40 and over to have a regular mammogram.
“Don’t bury your head in the sand and don’t think it can’t happen to you – the earlier it is caught, the earlier they can start treatment and hopefully prevent having to have a mastectomy and horrible chemotherapy treatment,” Karen said.