PAUL Lucas says it is with a “heavy heart” he will be stepping down as Bashley chairman at the end of the season.

The announcement was made on Monday evening, with Bash “now actively seeking somebody to ensure the club remains on the upward path” Lucas has laid.

Lucas provided funding to the club over the past four seasons, which included sponsorship deals from his companies GlenMex and Banbury Builders.

Bashley were promoted into Division One South of the Southern League two seasons ago and currently sit 15th in the table.

They have steadied the ship in recent months under boss Ollie Cherrett, who replaced Matt Tubbs following his departure to Poole Town in September.

Part of a lengthy statement for fans from Lucas read: “It’s with a heavy heart that I have to announce my resignation as chairman of Bashley Football Club at the end of this present season.

“This is due to many factors including personal matters and an acknowledgment of my consequent inability to give the time needed to The Bash.

“From the first time of chatting to the club’s vice-chairman, Iain Roberts in 2019, to my first steps as the major sponsor in the dark days of Covid in 2020 - and lastly dear Mike Cranidge’s arm-twisting to become chairman in early 2021, it has been an amazing journey!

“Whilst I know that some in these groups have not always agreed with my decisions, I truly hope you know that they were always done with the very best interests of our club in mind.

“My interest in The Bash will always be a strong one and I would like to assure you that a lot of hard work is going on behind the scenes to ensure continuity into next season and beyond.

“I will always do my best to support these matters for the best of the club, because, have no doubt, I remain a huge fan!”