RFU Championship
Cornish Pirates owner steps down after two decades
ESPN Staff
July 1, 2014
Cornish Pirates' Mennaye Field © Getty Images

Cornish Pirates owner Dicky Evans is to leave the club after 20 years of involvement, as he indicated he would last autumn.

Evans, 68, who is based in Kenya, hands over to new shareholders today. He will continue to sponsor the club for the next two seasons.

"Family, age, health, distance, weariness, frustration, other business commitments stacked up and brought me to the conclusion last September that I should resign and I did so but kept it amongst close colleagues initially," he said. "We have reached the final stages and I sign over the shares … to just over 70 new shareholders.

"They inherit the club in a considerably better position than it was in 1995 when I became seriously involved, as we have no debt and are in the top 24 teams in England. Long may it last."

Evans has in effect handed over the club - the fee is a nominal £1 - as he has written off all debts owing to him. "The Pirates will now move into an exciting new era with new ideas and new energy," he said.

He took over Penzance & Newlyn RFC in 1995 at a time they were close to bankruptcy and invested considerable sums in playing staff and structure with the goal of taking them to the Premiership. They came close, twice reaching the Championship play-off finals, losing on both occasions.

One other ambition Evans was not able to see through was the building of a new stadium capable of hosting top-flight rugby. But that goal has become more likely with the announcement earlier this month when a property developer unveiled plans and finance for a 10,000-seater stadium in Truro.

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