• Neil Le Milliere

EXILED AND A GRECIAN

One of the great things about the support there is for Exeter City is the breadth of support across the World let alone across the UK. In this new feature, we take a look at a few Exiles stories starting with Martin Thomas (Trust Member 2010):



“I am sure there are more interesting stories about Exonians but I was born in Mowbray Nursing home (corner of Heavitree and Wonford) in 1957, and we lived in Lower Kings Avenue (just by Union road so we could hear SJP on match days!) and my first game was v Port Vale (lost 0-1) in September 1966! I went with a mate called Graham and a "big" boy who our parents trusted

We moved to Topsham when I was 10 and lived there and in Mount Pleasant & Springfield Road (flat sharing) until I moved to Southampton when 19 or 20 for work.

A claim to fame was I used to play footie at the Topsham rec with Les Burwitz who was at St. Lukes College and went on to be the director(?) on The Crypton Factor with his sports/teaching background!

My dad as a young child lived in rooms in St. James Road in the house that had a big monkey tree (long gone) and my mum knew Wally Rice who was the Chaplain at St Luke's and also a director at City and he took me and my dad one match and we sat in the directors box in the old grandstand!

Feeling quite nostalgic as I type!



My favourite match (clearly every time we beat our friends down the A38 but) as a one off, Oxford United away when we won on penalties and went to Wemberleee!

Favourite players include: Alan Banks, Lammie Robertson, Ronnie Jepson, Danny Bailey, Buster Phillips, George Friend, Ryan Harley but for obvious reasons Sir Rob Edwards takes top spot.

Incidentally I have seen City at 33 away grounds plus Wembley.

The strangest away game was at Minehead in FA Cup Round 2 on 17 December 1977, part of a 3200 crowd with Randell scoring two and Kellow the third, but this was more for events off the pitch than on it. We had an “interesting” journey by privately hired coach and then met some equally “interesting” locals. Thankfully pretty much a one-off in my journeys over the years following City.



I sponsored the ball with thee friends for the Eammon Dolan (RIP) benefit match.

I’ve been watching on iFollow this season.

The worst things about ECFC was the period with the two crook directors, Michael Jackson and Geller, all so embarrassing!

I also remember "Gilbert" who used to go to SJP and I can picture the bloke that shouted out "PROGRAMMES" by the turnstiles in St James Road.

Maybe I am dreaming this but I recollect the team going to the Northcott theatre and having ballet lessons - Jimmy Giles (Giler!) was the star I believe.

One of my daughters was at Rolle College in Exmouth and she had a Saturday student job at some sports centre and John Wingate was the tennis coach. He was a really nice guy and was so pleased to be remembered when I recognised him!

Mainly happy memories - my club and always will be. I like Saints (only because I have lived in the Southampton area for 40 years plus) but LOVE ECFC and am not "very keen" (understatement!!) on Gargoyle so it's true, I am a Grecian!

I could go on...



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