As part of our Think of a Fan campaign we would like to help Clubs to celebrate the contribution made by your “Unsung Heroes”. These are the people who give their time for nothing and without whom our games wouldn’t be played and our Clubs wouldn’t survive.
By celebrating our Unsung Heroes we want fans to celebrate what’s best about our game, at a time when it is so easy to see only the negatives the Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it.
REBECCA GUY - WARMINSTER TOWN
Rebecca plays for Warminster Town Ladies and is currently studying for her A-levels at Kingdown School.
Rebecca, also volunteers her time every Sunday morning, running the girls football at Warminster Highbury Youth Fc Coaching young girls between the ages of 6 and 9.
Rebecca has been doing this for the past year and a half. Without her dedication and commitment to promoting and coaching girls football we would not have a programme within Warminster.
KEN ORD - TAVISTOCK
Ken Ord is truly a very much unsung hero of Tavistock AFC. He has played a pivotal role in the success which has seen Tavistock never finish outside the top 2 of the SWPL and Western Premier League in the full 4 seasons he has worked alongside Stuart Henderson.
Ken plays an integral role in liaising with all the players, checking in on injuries and rehabilitation along with supporting players when they need it, he plays a massive role in the clubs on the field success. However, his work off the pitch is a massive factor in the success on the pitch.
An average away game would like Ken leaving his house at 8:30 travelling 45/50 minutes to get the minibus and then driving another 45/50 minutes back to Plymouth to pick up the players and we haven’t even departed for the away fixture yet! Normally another three hours in a minibus and we arrive at an away venue. Ken then does all his match day duties, the warmup, taping players up, has the emotion of the game to deal with and then another 3 hours’ drive back to Plymouth.
This is without even mentioning he puts his hand in his own pocket to keep the first aid kit fully replenished, all this and he refuses to take one penny out the club. A true gentleman, loyal servant to the club, they don’t make them like Ken anymore and he throws a good social when we are allowed.
STEVE GILES - BUCKLAND ATHLETIC
Steve is your ultimate club man, no job is too big or too small for him, he will carry out any task with great dedication.
Steve was cleaning our changing room at away games long before it became fashionable, he is a man that believes highly in standards and respect.
As a club we are extremely grateful to have him within our ranks and look forward to working with Steve for many years to come.
PHIL ALFORD - WESTBURY UNITED
I don’t think I would be chairman of it wasn’t for Phil (and my wife), he has always supported me. The Alford family are interlocked into the history of the club and Phil has been coming to Meadow Lane since he was a very young boy, his dedication is admirable. You will see Phil on Wednesday’s getting bossed about by Terry and he’s always available to give the pitch a cut or a mark if no one else can do it.
I would probably say that Phil is the heartbeat of Westbury Utd, he is there night or day for whatever the club needs.
He has held senior committee positions, Chairman and Manager in the past and he is now head of the Trustees which means that we are always held accountable to make sure we are making the decisions that benefit the club.
MIKE HATCHER - WINCANTON TOWN
We’d like to nominate Mike Hatcher as our Unsung Hero.
Hatch has done every job at Wincanton Town, from Reserve Team Manager, 1st Team Manager, Secretary, Chairman and is now Club President and has been at the club for around 40 years.
He’s still very much active and central in things today and the club wouldn’t be the same without him.
Adam Fitzgerald - Exmouth Town
Since taking up the role of Vice chairman after his retirement from a proper job ( he will laugh ) adam has worked tirelessly at the home of football. The role has turned into alternate employment .
Adam has been heavily involved behind the scenes over seeing the running of the clubhouse and kitchen in these challenging ever changing times . He has worked in virtually every match day role from gateman, covid steward and tea hut worker and barman !
He has also worked daily behind the scenes in administration making sure the club is being run on an even keel and has been instrumental in securing sponsorship through club partnerships and working through many reems of paperwork from the council and the football foundation to ensure the club functions during these difficult times .
Adam is happiest when he is enjoying a good meal or having a drink with his many friends and loves putting on food events when the regulations allow in the clubhouse!
He has been a godsend to our football club.
Lee Williams - Brislington
The work Lee does for the club is unbelievable. He works hard to gain sponsorship for the club, Can always BE seen to be pottering about at anytime of the day and night and we mean late at night by clearing rubbish and cleaning the changing rooms.
HIS company Bristol Beds are a great sponsor of the club and He will basically do anything for anyone that needs anything. He will even pick you up from the club / pub if you’ve had one to many and drop you home! What is more remarkable is that he is heavily involved with De Veys FC at grassroots level and does so much to support them as well.
He is an absolutely essential to Brislington FC and we do not know what the club would do without him.
SIMON HARTLEY - CRIBBS
Simon is a true Cribbs FC man, having played nearly 500 games for the Club, and is now our Club Secretary, spanning 6 teams, as well as our Vice Chairman and Kit Secretary. Not only that, but he is the 1st team physio, after taking and passing the necessary physiotherapy courses off his own back. Added to that, he helps run the Sports Club and the upkeep of our ground, The Lawns, and even cleans the dressing rooms and helps wash all the kits after match days. Finally, if that wasn’t enough, he has taken on the mantle of our Covid Officer during this pandemic, with everything that entails.
He really is our Unsung Hero, and we wouldn’t be where we are
today without “Blods” and all his efforts over many years.
CHARLIE COLE - ASHTON & BACKWELL UNITED
You can’t help but notice how much Charlie does for the club and others. Charlie is a true supporter of the football club. She is very selfless and happy to help everyone whether it’s big or small. She is very strong with her views and is right a lot of the time! She spends hours at the club doing bits that not a lot of people notice, she doesn’t shout about it whilst fishing for praise, she just does it! She’s at the club before anyone and leaves after everyone on match days. Charlie is very knowledgeable about the dos and do nots of what comes with being a secretary and is very welcoming when other clubs and officials come to the club. Her ways are very synonymous with the club and the club would be lost without her!
She’s a credit and we are all very grateful for what she does.
“The story I was intending to write about relates to the situation we found ourselves in back at the start of the season when Nick Crocker our Head Groundsman was hospitalised for several weeks leaving us with a real problem as his other two stalwart ‘assistants’, Life Member Eddie Pike and Bill Baker both aged 80+ also had health issues at the same time!
Like most clubs we rely on a small bunch of volunteers and were very fortunate that Willie Rich and Tony Brawley were able to step in to ensure that we were in the best possible place when the season started. They readily embraced the challenge of preparing the playing surface despite the fact that neither had much in the way of previous involvement.
Willie is a lifelong supporter and Tony a real life legend who made his debut for the club age just 17 back in the mid
1960’s and went on to become our joint all-time leading goal scorer with 168 goals in 426 games.”
SIMON WILKINSON - RADSTOCK TOWN
Southfield would be a very different place without Simon! Taking on the chairman’s role when the club was struggling to survive. He’s had during his tenure to dual role as club secretary, groundsman, maintenance man, barman, dressing room cleaner, laundry man and even been photographed for a club fund-raising calendar marking the pitch, in nothing but his wellies! In fact, there isn’t much he hasn’t done, apart from playing of course and he’d probably do that if asked.
His efforts have led to a turn round in the club’s fortunes and that does mean he’s not having to ‘spin so many plates’ now but he can still be seen on the tractor or behind the marker, although he is usually clothed now!
WAYNE & CHARLIE MCLAUGHLIN - CALNE TOWN
Although Wayne is our secretary he also undertakes many tasks, if Wayne is not working he is generally found at the ground, preparing the pitch or completing general maintenance he is a true asset to the club.
Most people will see Chalie on match days in our tea hut, he is a true hero, from serving teas & coffee to maintenance, he is at the club most days, this man can turn his hand to most things and we would be lost without him!
A big thank you on behalf of the committee, management and Calne Town FC Supporters.
MIKE NORTON - PLYMOUTH PARKWAY
Supporter and maintenance man at Bolitho Park. Mike is a figure synonymous with Plymouth Parkway. He works the gates on match days and on away days, Mike is known as the flag man as he spends a lot of time hanging the flags at each away ground. Along with his hard match day work, Mike is at Parkway almost every other day, keeping Bolitho Park moving forward with various building work around the ground. He’s much loved within the club and Bolitho wouldn’t be the same without him.
SHAUN MOFFAT - DEVIZES TOWN
He lives and breaths the club……..the role of a chairman people think is sitting there and taking the plaudits but not Shaun
He washes the kit
Cleans the changing rooms
Cuts the grass
Carries out maintenance
Runs the club in the best interest of all parties
Works with the committee daily
Always busy trying to generate revenue for the club
Looking to secure the long term future for Devizes Town
Cut him in half and it will say Devizes Town right through it
He is out unsung hero at Devizes Town Football Club
ROLAND MILLWARD - WARMINSTER TOWN
Roland is an absolute star with all he does to promote Warminster Town, from his innovative live streaming and commentary of our First Team matches and recently our Ladies Team as well, to his podcasts and post match analysis and not forgetting managing our Facebook and Instagram profiles.
All carried out with great dedication and enthusiasm, and not forgetting his great sense of humour – the Club is very grateful and very lucky to have him on board.
TERRY MORGAN - WESTBURY UNITED
Terry is the leader of the clean up gang and the person who puts the most time and effort into getting renewed and new sponsorship.
He’s Westbury born and bred and has used his contacts and friendships to benefit the club. Terry will support any event or idea and he’s always there to put his hand up to get the hard work done.
I can’t put into words how important the work Terry has done over the past few seasons to make the club as successful as it currently is. All of the work carried out at the ground have been lead by Terry, he never ducks a challenge and puts in the hard yards when no one is watching.
HELEN REDPATH-BOLLAND - CORSHAM TOWN
There’s a handful of people within the club that have assisted in getting the football club through this tough time, but Helen has been a vital cog in making sure football does return to the Southbank again one day. From running the tea hut with her husband Justin, being on the gate when needed, the child welfare officer, the vice chairman and now running the accounts for the football club.
The future is looking good for Corsham Town on the pitch, but it also looks good off the pitch thanks to volunteers like Helen.
Thank you Helen!
GEORGE WILLIAMS - BISHOP SUTTON
I have played against Bishop Sutton for a number of years and always noticed this man around the ground, but haven’t ever had any dealings with him until this season as I am now playing for Bishop Sutton.
I would like to nominate George Williams who is the Sutton chairman, all chairman do their bit for their club but I think George goes above and beyond. Not only is he the Chairman, but he is the glue that keeps the club going. George sorts the match-day little bits like putting the kit out, taking it away, washing it he also fills the water bottles, puts sweets out for the team, grabs a tea or coffee for players and management.
George also sorts training at a 4G pitch, he not only pays for it but he shows up to watch and brings the kit and makes sure we all have what we need. George also runs the bar and makes sure the away team is looked after.
He is also at the club nearly five days a week, whether he is cutting the pitch, lining the pitch and more recently sorting the drainage. We also had a very large tree fall through our stand and it did some substantial damage, no less than 48hrs after it happened we caught George at the ground cutting the tree and moving it to allow us back on the pitch, since then he has dealt with and built the stand back up himself.
Not only does George financially support the club he also spends a lot of time and effort in and around the place.
There is one final thing that sticks in my head and makes George very special. We had a player in the squad that decided he was walking away from football because he wasn’t in the right frame of mind. We all say we’re here if you need us and leave it there, but not George. He took the time and effort out of his day to personally go to the lads’ house, knock the door and talk with him making sure he was alright and what help he needed. To me there isn’t many around that would do this, and as George told us at training he would do it for every single one of us.
So not only does George run the club, finance the club and do more than his fair share, but he treats us all as more than just players, all this after over 30 years at one club and being in his 70’s.
I’m not sure I could be doing that much at that age and have the respect of so many.
MALCOLM TRAINER - KEYNSHAM TOWN
Malcolm Trainer is our Club President and has been involved at the club for over 30 years.
He is a true clubman whose ‘heart and soul’ lives at the Crown Fields. In the early day our Malc could be found with other stalwarts preparing the ground during the week for match days, helping out In vital ground maintenance tasks, building dug outs, changing rooms extensions, cutting grass, plumbing and every task that you associate with running a football club.
He ran a very successful Under 18 teams for many years and even was club physio. He could always be heard shouting, ‘Come on my babbies’ from the stand or touchline, encouraging players to do better or just making them feel part of the team.
In recent times he was Chairman for over 10 years and in that time saw good and bad periods but was always the cheery voice to be heard around the ground on match days.
Recent changes in the management of the ground has seen his role diminished in that the ground is now managed by a facility management company but even whilst this was happening he was there at the ground everyday overseeing the improvement work and even taking on some of the tasks himself.
Malcolm is a true unsung hero at Keynsham Town and can be seen on match days in the gatehouse taking entrance fees, welcoming old and new and just being that vital cog in a great club he helped build.
Malcolm Trainer is what every club needs in a true legend something all clubs desire to have.
CHRIS BOWKER - BISHOPS LYDEARD
We would like to nominate Chris Bowker from Bishops Lydeard AFC, who we fondly know as “Mr Lydeard.”
We can not estimate how many hours Chris spends at our club per week but we know he spends more time there than he does at home.
Chris goes straight from work to the club every day, keeping everything in order and washing kits for all our senior teams so they are ready to go on match days.
He sources the food and drink from the local cash and carry and also runs our cafe single-handed. Chris spends most weekends supporting all our teams at home matches with refreshments and guidance. He is also a qualified ref and has stepped in to save games at the last minute on numerous occasions.
Chris makes sure the changing rooms are clean and that the officials are looked after along with visiting chairpersons etc and that they all get a hot drink and biscuits at half time.
When we run presentations and events Chris is only too willing to step up with the supply of food and refreshments, his name is always on the top of the list to volunteer.
He’s been known to mark pitches hours before matches to save the day.
Chris puts in so much time at our club year after year all for no payment.
It would be wonderful if Chris could be recognised for his many, many years of doing so much for our footballers, our club and supporters (whether home or visiting) we honestly don’t know what Lydeard would do without him.