Billericay Town are sad to announce the death of former manager Colin Searle.

Colin Alan Searle was born in East Ham in 1943. He was a member of the coaching staff at Billericay Town during the most successful period of the club’s history.

He was Assistant Manager to John Newman as the club won many of its honours, including the F.A. Vase in 1976 and 1977.

Newman left Town in October 1979 and moved to Chelmsford City. The Blues appointed Colin Searle and Arthur Coughlan as the joint-management team until a permanent appointment was made.

The next weekend the start of Town’s F.A. Vase run began with Rainham Town coming to New Lodge. Rainham were members of the Isthmian League Second Division, and would spend most of the next 15 seasons struggling before they eventually folded.

It took extra time to separate the two teams. The crowed of 944 saw Tony Wakefield score from the penalty spot and then Doug Young’s goal win the match for Billericay.

It was in January 1979 Colin Searle was given the job of leading the first team as manager.

Only one match was played during this month. On Saturday 29 January 1979 Royston Town of the South Midlands League travelled from Hertfordshire for the fourth round of the F.A. Vase.

Jamie Reeves opened the scoring for Billericay, and the fixture was sealed with an Own Goal to see The Blues in to the fifth round.

The F.A. Vase Final was played on Saturday 28 April 1979 at Wembley Stadium. Billericay Town filled around 50 coaches to go to the match and made up the majority of the 17,500 crowd that afternoon against Almondsbury Greenway.

Eleven minutes in to the match the ball was crossed in to the far post and headed on by Fred Clayden. Doug Young got to the ball first and headed his first goal in, before running to Billy Bingham to celebrate.

Doug Young scored his second goal on the 69th minute. Jamie Reeves headed the ball on this time and Doug threw himself at the ball and scored with an overhead volley.

Young went looking for his hat-trick but it started looking unlikely as he hit the bar, missed a sitter and wrongly had a goal ruled out for handball.

With the clock running down Almondsbury had a corner which Town cleared. Fred Clayden hit the ball forward for Young to run on to from the half way line. From 30-yards out he chipped the Greenway keeper to seal his hat-trick.

Amongst Young’s performance Almondsbury Greenway had scored as had Fred Clayden, his second at Wembley.

Back Row: Brian King (Hon. Sec.) Harry Leslie (Gen. Manager), Charlie Knott, Alan Russ, Billy Bingham, Paul Norris, Mal Downing, Mark Carrigan, John Pullin, Arthur Coughlan (Manager’s Asst.), John Clark (Asst. Manager)
Front Row: Ken Howell (Physio), Dough Young, Jamie Reeves, Dave Groom, Phil Whettell, Colin Searle (Manager), Steve Bone (Captain), Freddie Clayden, Paul Scott, Terry Fearey, Dicky Haynes (Reserve Manager).

Colin stepped down as Blues manager in May 1979 and the search began for a manager to take the club in to a new league and a new decade.

Colin, a structural engineer, had moved to Dundee several years ago and was a company director, working in the marine engineering industry. He has been a member of the Billericay Town Hall of Fame since it was founded in 2017.

He managed the First Team for only 36 matches but won 73% of them.

Our thoughts are with Colin’s family and friends at this difficult time.

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