December 21, 2023

Matt Gray Statement


"Trying to come to terms with not being Sutton United Manager has been a tough couple of days. However, the messages of support from so many people has been overwhelming.

"Firstly, I would like to thank the two people who brought me to this special club, Paul Doswell and Ian Baird, back in 2019. The work they had done, and the club that they left for me to take on in my first managerial role, is something I will be eternally grateful for.

"The Board of Director's relationship with the Manager is the most important within any club, and that is why I knew in May 2019 that this was the right club for me to take my first step into management. I thank the whole Board for their support in all my time, but I must give a special mention to Bruce Elliot, Chairman and Adrian Barry, Vice Chairman. We had a truly special working relationship, which laid the foundations for the success and history that we achieved. The heart, passion, desire, honesty and integrity that they have shown for so many years made me so proud to say I was their Manager. They will be friends forever.

"The supporters have been truly remarkable with their unconditional support throughout, and I will never forget the backing they gave me. One of my biggest disappointments was them not being able to watch live the National League winning season due to the COVID pandemic, but I was delighted that supporters were allowed back into Gander Green Lane to watch us lift the National League Trophy for the first time in May 2021, a day that will never be forgotten in the history of this football club. There are so many highs, but alongside winning the National League, leading the team out at Wembley in front of you all will live in me forever. Such a proud day, Thank you all so much for your support.

"To all players who have ever pulled that shirt on for me, I thank each of you. Your mentality, unity and passion made us all so proud to see you perform.

"I need to say a special thank you to my Captain, Craig Eastmond and Vice-Captain, Harry Beautyman.  They have been with me from day one and are two unbelievable leaders, personalities and people who have led my dressing room faultlessly. Thank you both so much, you are true legends of this football club.

"To all my staff, it has been an absolute pleasure. Our togetherness and work ethic, combined with our ability to enjoy the job with a smile on our faces, made me relish going into work every day. We have grown in numbers over the years but have all played a huge part in getting this club to where it is today. I thank you all.

"Special mention has to go to both Terry Bullivant, Director of Football and my Assistant, Jason Goodliffe. To have Terry join as Director of Football since becoming a football league club, and helping transform so many aspects, it has been invaluable having someone working alongside me with his experience and knowledge, as well as being a true friend. Thanks Bully.

"I don’t know where to start with Jason, my ‘best signing’. The first thing I wanted to do when I got the job was make sure he was by my side, and he has been truly remarkable in every way. What a person, what a character, what a partnership – a mate for life. It has been an absolute pleasure.

"Finally, to my family who know all too well that football is my passion and my life. I know it has been stressful at times, but their unwavering support and belief in me has led me to be the man and manager that I am today.

"After four years of success, it has been hard in this first half of the season, and I am disappointed not to be able to have time to turn it around and lead Sutton United to its fourth season in the Football League. I leave with my head held high from the memories and the history that we have created. I feel I have built a Football League club, as well as managed one, and Sutton United will forever by in my heart. However, now is time to recharge and I look forward to the next challenge."

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