Alan Dowson

WOKING FC manager Alan Dowson has been reunited with his National League South Promotion Final winner’s medal after he donated it for auction to raise funds for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices in June.

The winning bidder, at £1,200, wished at the time to remain anonymous, and the reason has now become clear.

GENEROUS GIFT – Andrew Laithwaite returns Alan Dowson’s medal to him after buying it at a charity auction

In a ceremony before Woking’s home game against Aldershot this month, the successful bidder was revealed as Andrew Laithwaite, from Laithwaite Financial Services, who then presented Alan’s winner’s medal back to him.

“We are absolutely delighted that Alan’s medal has been gifted back to him in this way,” said Phil Wormley, director of fundraising at Woking & Sam Beare Hospices. “It was an extremely kind and generous donation that has helped raise an amazing amount of money for the hospice.

“It has been a pleasure to be invited along to see the surprise presentation.”      

Andrew said:  “I’m delighted that it was possible to reunite Dowse with his National League South Promotion Final winner’s medal, but the real story here is of a man who was prepared to sacrifice a treasured trophy of great personal value for the benefit of those in need. This is the true measure of a man.”

A bucket collection at the match raised more than £600 for the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.

WOKING Football Club’s manager has donated a prized possession to be auctioned in aid of the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices charity.

Alan Dowson handed over his Conference South Play Off medal to support the organisation’s fundraising efforts.

Alan Dowson hands over his medal to Phil Wormley

The medal is one of a limited edition of 23 given to the team and support staff at the club when it beat Welling Utd in the play-off final to be promoted back to the National League.

The promotion represents a successful season for “Dowse” and his players and a significant moment in the Cards’ history.

“I am delighted to give my winner’s medal to such a worthy and important cause as Woking & Sam Beare Hospices,” said Alan.

Woking & Sam Beare Hospices is running a silent auction for bids to win the medal.

Bids for the medal should be sent, along with your name and a contact number, to

Payment, by cheque, credit card or cash, must be made within 24 hours of the auction deadline of noon on Friday 12 July. The winner will be announced during the pre-season friendly against Oxford United on Saturday 13 July.

For terms and conditions and more information, visit

For the full story get the 27 June edition of the News & Mail

ABOUT 2,000 children aged six to 15 took part in two days of football at the Goldsworth Park Rangers annual summer festival.

The festival was attended by Woking FC manager Alan Dowson,  first team coach Ian Dyer and midfielder Paul Hodges, who brought along the Vanarama Promotion Playoff final trophy.

GPR Raptors under-12s team with Dowse and the Vanarama playoff trophy.

Lee Swain, the Goldsworth Park Rangers FC chairman, said the tournament was a great success and thanked the many volunteers who helped to make it happen.

“Also I must say a big thanks to Dowse. For him to drive straight back from Wales having attended the Vanarama presentation evening was unbelievable and to bring the cup with him was a great touch.”

Lee said the club’s community partner Waitrose and grassroots partner Macdonalds made massive contributions to the festival.

The GP Rangers under-10s team the Dolphins with mascot Wishbone

“It’s always a busy but rewarding weekend and I am delighted that all the teams seemed to have a great time.

“Wishbone the mascot made everyone smile and managed to get in nearly every photo,” Lee said.

Andy Morgan, the club secretary and welfare officer, explained that the mascot’s name came from the fact that the pitches are on Wishbone Way.

“The annual event has grown from about 30 teams to where we are now,” Andy said.

He said the club is thriving with 600 members and 42 teams.

For more pictures get the 20 June edition of the News & Mail

Woking FC manager Alan Dowson will be just one of the thousands of runners taking part in the Surrey Half-Marathon this Sunday, the community-minded ‘Dowse’ taking on the challenge to raise money for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.

Dowse and Ian Dyer in training for the Surrey Half Marathon

Motorists should be prepared for potential traffic delays, as Surrey’s largest half-marathon returns to Woking Leisure Centre for its sixth year on Sunday.

The mass-participation community event for people entering the half-marathon, 5km or 2km distances will mean a number of temporary road closures between Woking and Guildford from 7.30am.

Residents are advised to plan any essential journeys in advance and allow extra time to reach destinations. Organisers have been working with local authorities throughout the year to ensure they can facilitate regular journeys made by care providers and other emergency vehicles throughout race day.

For more information about affected roads or the event, visit

WOKING returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory away to Truro City on Tuesday.

Going straight into The Cards’ starting line-up was midfielder Olu Durojaiye, who signed from Bostik League Premier Division outfit Haringey Borough on Monday.

Hodges, right, on the ball

Despite having made their longest journey of the season – a daunting 240 miles – Woking got off to a superb start at Treyew Road, David Tarpey and Jake Hyde peppering the goal with shots. The pressure finally paid off when Armani Little unleashed a rocket from 25 yards and beat City keeper Harvey Rivers.

Truro, with two wins and a draw from their five previous games this month, showed more steel in the second half and it was clear they weren’t going to roll over. But Woking were able to soak up the home side’s pressure and were good value for their win, which sees them back on track after the disappointment of Saturday’s match, a 2-0 defeat away to Dartford.

“It’s no secret that Dartford are a big, strong side that look to hit you on the counter attack,” said Woking manager Alan Dowson.

“The lad who elbowed Hodgy (Paul Hodges) should have been booked; how he didn’t receive a booking, God only knows.”

“I feel a bit hard done by from our two matches against Dartford. I thought we should have got something out of both,” he added.

For the full match reports and pictures, see the 28 February edition of the News & Mail