Well, Saturday sees us play our final home game of this season at Heritage Park and let’s hope our players give us something to shout about today with a good performance and a victory! I was really pleased with the commitment and performance of the team against a very good South Shields side last Saturday.
After the Dunston game the Grand National will be shown live in the Function Room so I hope as many people as possible will come and have a drink and find out if their ‘once a year’ bet wins! We will be organising a sweepstake before the game and at half time so why don’t you have a little flutter with us!
On behalf of the Club I would like to thank everyone who makes the games go smoothly by volunteering their time on match days. Your support is much appreciated.
Many thanks to Bill Caris and his family who have come to every home game, come rain or shine to provide our catering service to supporters in the Stadium.
I would like to thank Steve for all his work as team manager this season and we look forward to working with Steve again next season, looking to make a big stride upwards in our league position. Many thanks also to Gary, Lenny and Amy-Leigh and Colin and Michael for supporting Steve.
And to the players – thanks to you all for all your commitment and performances with us this season. We all remember our fabulous cup run this season and we have seen some brilliant performances this season. I know like everyone else the players are disappointed our league position isn’t better but we must be positive and build on our successes of this season to be even better next season.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome the coaches, players and their parents from St Mary’s Juniors who are attending the Dunston game. The plan is for everyone to come down early and have a photo taken in the main stand. I have seen first-hand how much time, effort and commitment Steve Coulthard and all the coaches, support staff and players and parents make to ensure our young boys and girls are able to enjoy the game and hopefully some will play at a much higher level in the future. The legislation, rules and regulations the club must comply with are numerous and it is with much credit that St Mary’s is very efficient in compliance.
This season we have had some of Steve’s Under 18 team train with our first team and indeed Alex Goundry and Aidan Hart have been added to the squad. Let us hope we will see players moving through the ranks in the future to ensure we have some local players playing for us.
Our guests at the game against Dunston are Tommy Kelly, who founded St Marys Juniors in 1986; Tommy played for the Bishop’s in 1954 and also played with Sir Stanley Matthews in the FA Representative team in 1955, Terry Kirkbride who is currently a Newcastle United scout and played for Bishop for four years in goal in the 1960’s including the title winning team in 1967 under Lawrie McMenemy and John Barker who played in the 1967 successful side with Terry Kirkbride. John played on November 23rd 1966 at the first official ‘switch on’ of the Kingsway floodlights. The team beat Jim Baxter’s XI 6-3. Jack Charlton played for the visitors. John’s grandson Alex Goundry has been added to the squad this season.
We have had many guests visiting Heritage Park this season, many for the first time, and it is always great to welcome them to Heritage Park. I am very keen that former players are given the opportunity to be our guests on match days so this is something we want to continue with next season and beyond.
We are holding our annual awards evening on Saturday 22nd April from 7pm until midnight with former voice contestant Hayley Eccles providing the entertainment along with her dad Gino who also performed on the show. Many thanks to Dean Maynard for arranging this. Tickets priced at £10 (or £8 if you are a member of the Supporters Club) are on sale in the Club Shop.
We will be holding a raffle during the night with proceeds going to Macmillan Nurses in memory of our former Director, Brian Watson who died in January. This week I lost my sister Geraldine to cancer and I know how valuable the Macmillan Nurses are to cancer patients and their families. If you are able to donate a raffle prize, then please bring it to Saturday’s game or contact me before the event.
We have many junior and charity games being played at Heritage Park during May, before the Wannasee festival, so keep an eye on our website for more information.