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AFC Sudbury legend Terry Rayner looking to help Joshua Pollard’s Olly Murs-sponsored Kings Park Rangers to follow in Hashtag United’s footsteps





One of AFC Sudbury’s most well known former players is looking to help steer now Great Cornard-based Kings Park Rangers towards a second successive promotion after joining their management team.

Terry Rayner, who made more than 300 appearances across three spells for the Yellows, will return to the non-league circuit in a coaching role under manager John Pollard, a former AFC team-mate, having ended his playing days with Halstead Town in 2010.

And in one-year-old Kings Park Rangers the former right winger believes he is joining something special, with the club co-owned by John, his son and recent AFC Sudbury promotion winner Joshua Pollard, with sponsors including his superstar nephew Olly Murs, having won promotion in their first season.

Former AFC Sudbury and Halstead Town player Terry Rayner (inset) is looking forward to seeing what impact he can have at Kings Park Rangers Picture: Contributed
Former AFC Sudbury and Halstead Town player Terry Rayner (inset) is looking forward to seeing what impact he can have at Kings Park Rangers Picture: Contributed

The club, named after the Pollard’s family-run Amazon prep centre business based in Pebmarsh – Kings Park Fulfillment Ltd – will play in the Step 6 level Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier Division in 2024/25 having come runners-up in Division One last term. They will also now be ground-sharing with Cornard United at Blackhouse Lane which will offer improved facilities for a growing fanbase, having played at Earls Colne in their debut campaign.

And Rayner, who played in all three of AFC Sudbury’s FA Vase finals, including scoring in the 2-1 defeat to Brigg Town at Upton Park in 2003, believes they can follow in the footsteps of another recently-formed club with a celebrity backer.

“I haven’t played for a long time now and had never thought about getting back into watching non-league football or getting involved in any football really until I spoke to Polly (John Pollard) and Josh about what was happening at KPR,” said the 45-year-old based near Colchester.

Kings Park Rangers were formed last summer by John (back left) and son Joshua Pollard (front right) and achieved promotion in their first season Picture: Steve Screech
Kings Park Rangers were formed last summer by John (back left) and son Joshua Pollard (front right) and achieved promotion in their first season Picture: Steve Screech

“I was asked if I wanted to join the management team and I liked their output and the direction of where they want to go and I thought yes, I’ll go with it and see where it takes us to see if we can be another Hashtag United and go through the pyramid.”

Spencer Owen’s Hashtag United currently play at AFC’s Step 3 level and Rayner is hoping he can help ‘the Kings’, captained by another of his Yellows team-mates in Danny Cunningham, continue to be a success story.

He said: “We just want to take the club as far as we possibly can and see where it takes us,” he said.

“With the style of play we’ve got and the type of football we play, we should hopefully get promotion again this year.”

Former AFC Sudbury player Terry Rayner has joined the management team at Kings Park Rangers Picture: Terry Rayner
Former AFC Sudbury player Terry Rayner has joined the management team at Kings Park Rangers Picture: Terry Rayner

Rayner, who scored 56 times for AFC, added: “I’m going to be on the management team putting my word across with my playing experience and how I want the game to be played which is the same as Polly wants and I’ll mainly be on the coaching side of things.”

John Pollard, who will be assisted again by Jamie Dobkin, is delighted to have brought his former team-mate, who he played alongside at both Heybridge Swifts and under Mark Morsley at AFC, out of his non-league retirement.

He said: “Getting Terry to join the Kings was a simple decision.

“He brings a wealth of knowledge and an unyielding desire to win.

“We are thrilled to have him, a Sudbury legend who has had a career boasting goals, finals and trophies.

“I am confident that his contributions will significantly enhance our team’s performance and success in our second full campaign.”

KPR are set to return to pre-season training on July 2, ahead of their first warm-up match, against Brantham Athletic at Cornard on July 6.