Getting to Know: Elaine Davis - Trustee and Director of Community Engagement

July 4, 2019

 

 

History
What are your earliest memories of ECFC?

We moved to Exeter in 1980 & I worked with Exeter fans so excited at Exeter's great FA Cup run that season.


Which ECFC era that had the most impact on you and why?

The Russell & Lewis era was shocking & once they had gone I was determined to help to save the Club. I started volunteering the summer the Trust took over & I haven't looked back since!


How/when/why did you become involved with the running of ECFC?

I was co-opted onto the Trust Board in 2013 in order to help raise money for new floodlights & together we raised £12,000 for "Light up the Park".

 

In my first year the make up of the Club Board changed to allow 3 Trustees to join the Trust Chair as Club Directors, I was one of the 3 Trustees elected by my peers on to the Club Board. Since then I have stood for election twice & remain on both Boards.

 

As a director of ECFC, what are your hopes and ambitions for the club?

To be financially stable with a thriving Academy, our first team playing exciting football leading to increased crowds & more Trust members for our Supporter owned Club.

 

Ground
Historically speaking, where have you traditionally watched matches from?

Always the Big Bank.


Where do you watch matches from today?

Since becoming a Director I help to entertain visiting Directors in the Boardroom & so watch from the Main Stand.

 

What is your favourite part/feature of St James Park?
There are so many - the heart on the Big Bank is special. The view from the Boardroom, especially when the ground is empty, always reminds me how lucky I am to be able to help shape the future of the Club I love.


What are your thoughts on the recent redevelopments at St James Park?
I'm really proud of our New Stand & the way in which we've celebrated our Heritage alongside the modern facilities. The City crest on the outside wall was donated by Grecian Goal, a fund raising group of supporters which I organise so that must be a favourite too.

 

Matches
What is your all time favourite match, and why?
Beating Torquay away in the play-off semi final. It was an amazing atmosphere & the beginning of the Club's resurgence. Driving home with City fans sounding their horns & scarves flying from car windows is a great memory.

 

What would you say was your best moment as a City fan?
So many, but drawing with Liverpool in the FA Cup to secure a replay at Anfield left me stunned. I'd been closely involved with the preparations for the game, we'd all been living & breathing the fixture since draw was made & we were tired. The game & the atmosphere surpassed my expectations, the result was a mixture of euphoria, disbelief & relief .......Happy Days!


When was your lowest moment as a City fan?
Losing at Anfield in the FA Cup replay, it's still too painful to talk about.


Where/when did you experience the best atmosphere at a football match?
When living in the Midlands in the '70's the local derbies between WBA & Aston Villa. And, as previously mentioned, our FA Cup match v Liverpool at SJP & the play-off semi final v Torquay.

 

Players/Team
Which ECFC team, past or present, is your favourite?
The team that took us out of the Conference & back into the football league via Wembley. A team which included our current manager!


What was your best season as a City fan, and why?
Last season, because of the optimism around the Club both on & off the pitch. A new Manager, a new Stand, a new era, and up until Christmas, Jayden Stockley scoring for fun. Just what we needed to reset the Club having lost the longest serving Manager in our history.


Who is your all time favourite City player?
I cannot choose one but I love seeing our Academy graduates develop & thrive in the first team. Archie Collins, is a brilliant example.


If we could sign any player from our history, who would you pick?
Dick Pym, a legend from the past & a local lad from Topsham where I now live... & I've been lucky enough to have met some of his descendants who remain very proud of him.

 

Club
What makes you proud to be part of ECFC?
The fact that we do things differently, a Supporter owned Club which inspires almost 200 volunteers to regularly give their time working for the Club.


Why do you think this club is important?
As above. We have survived as a continuously Supporter owned Club longer than any other in the English football league. Our model is interesting to other Clubs, especially those in our league, & the Trust is often asked to share experiences & advise those who might wish to emulate our model. We are proving that there can be an alternative to the norm.


What makes ECFC special?
As above; what we take for granted others find unusual. The number of volunteers we attract & retain for many years, the friendly & welcoming atmosphere at SJP which lead us to win the EFL award for the best Club for away fans last season & the fact that a volunteer & supporter like myself can become a Club Director ensuring that Supporter & Community issues are brought to the Club Board.


What would you like the future of ECFC to look like?
I'd like us to be a successful business, retaining our human touch, our quirkiness & pride in being out of the ordinary but at the same time having the resources to continue to develop our playing staff, our levels of professionalism, customers care & facilities which should attract more supporters to our Club... & thus be a successful business... etc. etc!

 

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