Fans in the Stands
This week, the Trust worked with a fabulous group of volunteers to return the 'fans in the stands' to St James Park. Here, Trustee and Director for Community at ECFC explains more about the process.
Since our trip to Wembley this summer our virtual fans have been stored at the club, waiting for some definite information about when supporters would be allowed back at SJP.
My fellow Trustee and Director, Clive Harrison and I had spent a long day putting the cut outs into alphabetical order by surname so it would make collection easier when the time came.
** Have a guess which letter of the alphabet was the most popular... answer at the end of the article **
As soon as it became obvious that playing behind closed doors was to remain for longer than many of us had hoped for, it was time to organise and get our 'fans in the stands' back in the stadium as they had been for our play-off campaign earlier in the year.
On contacting some of our amazing supporters to help with the initiative, we were delighted when 12 hardy volunteers answered the call and so on Wednesday morning we got to work and filled the Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand with 1200 images of some of you... and a few of your pets.
Each of our volunteers deserve a name check so a huge thank you from myself, my fellow directors and trustees - and, I'm sure, all of our supporters - to Richard Knight, Steve Chudley, Phil Burden, Phil Bater, Sue Price, Rob Lee, Steve Merry, Lee & Amelia Merry, and Dave & Julie Luxton.
Thanks also too to club commercial executive, Matt Kimberley and to Dominos pizzas who provided a much needed and delicious lunch for us all.
With all of the additional cut-outs provided for Wembley, there were still 270 supporters without a seat in the stand, and so on Thursday, Richard, Steve M and Phil B joined me back at the Park to extend the display to the Big Bank.
We managed three rows close to the heart, and while it was slow work - fixing to barriers is more difficult than fixing to seats - it was a fabulous reminder of just how many people supported this initiative in the summer months.
Given the volume there are still six rows to complete, so we will return to do this next week in time for our FA Cup tie vs A.F.C Fylde.
Thank you once again to every single person who supported the club by buying supporting the 'fans in the stand' initiative... You look fantastic and I'm sure it will be a pleasant surprise when the team run out onto the pitch on Saturday, and proof to our opponents that we really do have the very best supporters here at Exeter City Football Club.
** Answer - W, closely followed by S & B **