Ex Saints Chairman Dies
Friday, 13th Sep 2019 10:53
Sad news today in that the death of ex Saints Chairman Leon Crouch has been announced, a man who played a big part in keeping us afloat.
Leon Crouch, has died at the age of 70.
Mr Crouch was born and raised in Lymington and made his fortune as a major employer in the New Forest town, founding the Fullers Group in 1978 specialising in precision-engineered products.
He also gave generously to charity, was previously a town councillor and served as a trustee of Friends of Lymington New Forest Hospital as well as bing heavily involved in local football in the area.
In 2015 he sold his company Lymington Precision Engineers (LPE), which employed more than 220 people, for around £46m.
In truth Leon Crouch for most of his footballing career was not connected with Saints being Chairman of his local team Lymington until coming on to the Saints board in 2006 as Michael Wilde looked to prop up his takeover of the club, a takeover that initially looked promising but eventually was fount to have little substance.
That was not the fault of Leon Crouch who had to take over as Chairman at one point in December 2007 until 2008 when Rupert Lowe returned to the club.
But this would not be the last we saw of him and in 2009 with the club in administration and a proposed takeover failing, he put his hand into his own pocket to pay wages and bills that the administrator was legally unable to pay with no income and saved the club from having to be liquidated, buying time for the Markus Liebherr takeover to happen.
He was also notable for paying to have a second Ted Bates statue built after issues with the original and although he was not offered a position in the club after Markus Liebherr restructured it he retained a box at St Mary’s which he shared with fellow local businessman Patrick Trant and regularly hosted another great Saints manager Lawrie McMenemy with whom he had become friendly.
It would not be unfair to say that Leon Crouch's time on the club' board was not our most successful period either on or off the pitch, but in a time of turmoil and with chancers in and around our boardroom, he showed that his heart was in the right place and for that all Saints fans should be eternally grateful.
Early media reports are not stating whether this was unexpected or after an illness
RIP Leon Crouch
Photo: Action Images
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