Nigel Corner returns as Harrogate Railway chairman

Nigel Corner is back as acting chairman at Harrogate Railway (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
Nigel Corner is back as acting chairman at Harrogate Railway (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
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Nigel Corner has performed a u-turn on his decision to stand down as Harrogate Railway’s chairman and been re-instated in the role.

Corner walked away from Station View at the end of the 2014/15 season soon after the exit of manager Billy Miller.

Railway have been unable to find a replacement for the Starbeck-based businessman and Alan Smith has been acting in temporary control.

Following a tough start to the season which has seen Railway drop into the relegation mix in Evo-Stik First Division North, Corner assumed the position of acting chairman last week.

Corner said: “I missed that camaraderie and banter with fans and committee members.

“I missed being involved with the football, the whole package. It’s something I absolutely love doing and I have been extremely lucky that the club have asked me back.

“I really enjoyed my tenure first time around and felt I offered a bit to the club and was told I’d done a half decent job.

“They didn’t fill my shoes, which I was surprised about because I thought there might have been some capable people waiting in the wings.”

Corner was initially voted in as chairman at Station View in 2013 and was hailed as a crucial cog in the club returning 13th place and eighth place finishes.

He became the first chairman to oversee the sale of a player when Nathan Cartman joined Darlington 1883 in January. Off the field during his 18-month tenure, he also instigated the return of the Starbeck Gala, junior football and a bonfire night to Station View.

“The first goal is survival as a business, as that’s a challenge that gets harder each year, the second goal is to avoid relegation,” said Corner.

“We are consistently trying to make the club bigger and better for the community. The whole thing goes hand in hand with giving Ash the tools to be successful on the pitch.”

Corner appointed former assistant manager and goalkeeper Lee Ashforth to replace Miller almost immediately after the latter exited Railway for Tadcaster Albion.

Ashforth has been dealt a cruel schedule of fixtures as he attempted to create a new squad and the boss has overseen just two league victories in his short tenure.

However, encouraging performances against table toppers Northwich Victoria and promotion hopefuls Scarborough Athletic has complimented Corner’s belief that he has the right man in charge.

Corner said: “Ash is working his socks off to get things right. He’s had some real bad luck with a ridiculously hard start to the season.

“It was always going to take time and we are all comparing this season to three seasons ago when Billy and Ash came in.

“We know are in transition again this season, but I think we will be okay.

“I don’t have any fears that we will go down, and I am convinced we will go from strength to strength.

“We are putting in place a three year plan. At the end of that three year, we want to be trying to get near the play-offs.

“We might not have the funds for that, but we have to be clever in the way we go about it. We did that under Billy, there’s no reason why we can’t do it under Ash.”