Football club back chairman

PUBLISHED: 06:38 06 July 2007 | UPDATED: 10:22 14 September 2010

The chairman of Lowestoft Town Football Club will continue in his role despite offering his resignation following a court appearance, it was revealed last night

Gary Bennett, 43, was cleared of assaulting his wife, but offered to stand down from his high profile position during an emergency board meeting called by him on Wednesday night.

The chairman of Lowestoft Town Football Club will continue in his role despite offering his resignation following a court appearance, it was revealed last night.

Gary Bennett, 43, was cleared of assaulting his ex-wife, but offered to stand down from his high profile position during an emergency board meeting called by him on Wednesday night.

However, fellow board members refused to accept his offer and gave their full backing to the driving school owner, who also sponsors the club.

A statement on the club's official website said: "Gary's resignation was rejected unanimously by the committee. Both Gary and his partner Dianne have the 100pc support of the Lowestoft Town committee and Gary will continue in his role as chairman."

Mr Bennett, of Northwood Close, Oulton Broad, appeared before Lowestoft Magistrates' Court on Monday, charged with assaulting his ex-wife during a doorstep row on March 16.

Kerry Brown claimed her former husband had struck her in the face with the back of his hand, but Mr Bennett said she had spat at him and pushed her way into his home. Magistrates found him not guilty after deciding the Crown Prosecution Service had not proved the charge of common assault beyond reasonable doubt.

Mr Bennett admitted in court that he was embarrassed by his appearance before magistrates, but last night spoke of his gratitude that Lowestoft Town was standing by him.

He said: "I just want to thank the club for supporting me in my time of need. I am just pleased to be able to carry on."

Mr Bennett is a key supporter of youth football across the eastern region and last summer invested a substantial sum in Lowestoft Town as part of a five-year sponsorship deal.

He was appointed chairman earlier this year after a frantic fund-raising drive proved enough to halt an Inland Revenue winding up order.

Mr Bennett admitted much work was still needed to protect Lowestoft's long-term stability, but predicted the club had a bright future.

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