Wyldecrest Parks’ owner Alfie Best has added to his impressive business portfolio with the acquisition of a football club.

Mr Best snapped up East Thurrock United earlier in the summer, revealing grand plans for the club.

Named in the latest Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated wealth of £340 million, the 50-year-old park home tycoon ultimately wants to see his local football team slug it out with bigger rivals in the main Football League pyramid.

He also plans to construct a purpose-built stadium for the team in the future. The Essex-based entrepreneur revealed his plans after spending a seven figure sum to buy the ground and a half share in the Isthmian League Premier Division club.

He told fans in a club statement: ‘East Thurrock United is a fantastic club with a lot of potential, but what really excites me is the amazing community spirit it has and that’s what I want to build and expand on.

‘There is a real enthusiasm from everyone involved in the club to achieve great things here and I want to lay the groundwork with a new stadium that could see us make progress on the field and move through the divisions.

‘Obviously, reaching the Football League would be big challenge, but it’s a wonderful
goal to have and aspire to. A football club has so much more to offer than a game on a
Saturday afternoon. It has the opportunity to be the lifeblood of the community.

‘It would be great to be able to build a new community stadium for the club. I am confident we will have the support of Thurrock Council who are a go-ahead and ambitious authority determined to provide the best amenities for their residents.’

He added: ‘It’s the reason I moved my staff and offices into the borough from neighboring Havering. It was a big decision to uproot in excess of 400 staff, but Havering is an authority that did not appear to want to support the aims of business in contrast to the forward-thinking of Lyn Carpenter, the chief executive of Thurrock Council, and her entire team, for whom I have the utmost respect.’

Wyldecrest Parks owns and runs more than 80 parks across England, Scotland and Wales. During lockdown, Mr Best has been very busy, adding more parks as well as East Thurrock United FC to his business empire.

For more information on Wyldecrest Parks, turn to page 22 to read our in-depth article on one of the operator’s newest acquisitions, Cranbourne Hall, in Berkshire. Alternatively, please visit the company’s website at www.wyldecrestparks.co.uk.