Ladbrokes Coral are looking to appoint stadium managers for Crayford and Hove as new stadium director Ian Smyth sets about reorganising the managements structure at the four venues under his control.

The two ‘Coral tracks’ dispensed with individual general managers several years ago and Smyth has spent his early months firefighting with a rebuild at Romford a make-over at Hove.

The two Ladbrokes tracks appeared to be in better shape with Richard Brankley having overseen manager Paul Mason, while Crayford was in the capable hands of Diana Illingworth. However, following the recent announcement that Brankley was leaving, Diana has confirmed that she will retire at the end of September.

Many patrons will not have known of life at Crayford without Diana who has brought incredible levels of enthusiasm to the place since first arriving at the old Crayford track in 1979. She returned after a year’s break when the new stadium was built and worked her way through to become operations manager.

She said: “The first thing I should say is that my leaving has nothing to do with any changes at the track. I announced last year that I would be going now and I am sticking to my word. I still love my job and am surrounded by a fantastic team, but there comes a time for a younger group to take over.

“In this business we are always planning ahead and looking forward I realised that I didn’t want to be planning so far ahead knowing I wouldn’t be here. So it was the ideal time to go. I have rewarded myself with a month’s cruise in the Caribbean in October, and quite frankly, as much as I love my job, the idea of coming back to it after that just didn’t appeal.”