DANNY Crump says he can look back with pride on his 30-year stint as Witney chairman.

After three decades at the helm of the Hailey Road-based club, the 74-year-old has officially handed over the reins to Bob Fisk for the 2019/20 season.

“When I came down from Middlesbrough in 1986, I went to Witney and became fourth team captain,” said Crump, who hung up his playing boots only three years later.

“The chairman at the time was Pat Hall and he was about to go off to be president of the county and he said ‘would you stand as chairman?’.

“I’ve been at clubs where there have been waiting lists.

“I said ‘I tell you what I will do, if no-one else stands at the AGM you can put my name forward and if anyone wants to take over from me I will stand down’.

“Thirty years later it was up to me to make the decision.”

Crump, who is now president, has overseen plenty of development at Witney, including a new bar, changing rooms and pitches.

He was also responsible for the introduction of sponsorship, while the club has grown to support a ladies side, a Witney Wolves team for children with special needs and a minis and juniors section which offers rugby to more than 400 youngsters.

“I can look back with pride,” said Crump.

“My biggest two achievements are what we’ve done to improve the facilities and making the club financially sound.

“What we’ve always tried to be about is, if you are standing still you’re more likely going backwards.

“(Former Rugby Football Union president) Paul Murphy once said that to me and I think we’ve always tried to move the club forward.”

He added: “When I first took over we had no sponsorship whatsoever, we used to have to apply for an overdraft during the summer to keep the club afloat, and we had no paid staff – all volunteers.

“The first thing we did was have a full-time steward.

“We also had our first sponsor and in those days if you could get the shirt production covered you had done a good job.

“We built the Jubilee Bar, a new changing block and then started on the pitches.

“During my time, through grants, our own money and loans, I think we spent just over half a million pounds, which is not a bad achievement over 30 years.

“And all the money we made was put back into the club.”

The mantle has been passed on to Fisk, who has been associated with Witney for 17 years.

During that time, he has been an age group coach as well as secretary, chairman and president of the minis and juniors.

“Danny approached me three years ago and said ‘would you consider being chairman?’,” said Fisk.

“And about a year ago I said ‘yes, let’s see how it goes, I will shadow you’ – it was quite good succession planning.

“I want people to experience the fun I had when I joined and worked my way through the committee.”

Fisk added: “Danny’s been incredible.

“He was one of the first people to realise the commercial aspect of local rugby.

“He was able to build links with good local sponsors that helped us through and enabled us to get first-class facilities.

“We’re now looking to build an extension on to the clubhouse because we’re bursting at the seams.

“It’s all positive and that’s down to Danny – all credit to him and 30 years is an incredible feat.”

Crump will still be on the committee, but insists he will not attend a meeting for six months to allow Fisk to put his own stamp on the club.

“Last year we made Bob vice chairman and to be honest he’s been chairman for the last 12 months,” he said.

“I have every confidence he will do a great job.”