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Bishop Auckland FC

Chairman’s Update

Chairman’s Update

Fred Richardson who played for the Club in the 1946 FA Amateur Cup Final has died and the Club sends it’s condolences to Fred’s family.  The amateur cup final that year was played against Barnet and the result was a 3-2 defeat and Fred also played for Chelsea, Hartlepool, West Brom and Barnsley. 

Sadly we also heard of the death of Keith Hopper this week.  Keith was connected for many years as a player and committee man and I knew Keith very well as we were both members of the Trustees of the Cricket and Football Club Ground at Kingsway. Our condolences go to his wife Helen and friends and family.

Its been quite a busy two weeks down at Heritage Park.  We were visited last week by former Chelsea and Aston Villa player Kenny Swain who now works for the FA and also Middlesbrough’s Head of Academy Dave Parnaby.  Kenny was carrying out a ground inspection to see if we can host Middlesbrough Under 23’s when they play league or tournament games. Both were very impressed with our facilities.

Another Ground inspection was carried out last week by the Northern League Management Committee.  As you may be aware our ground meets the criteria above Northern League level so there was no issues to be addressed.

The pitch work has now been completed and anyone who has called down to Heritage Park can see how well things have gone since the start of the work commenced at the beginning of June.  The installation of irrigation with the ‘pop-up’ sprinklers has clearly made a difference instead of having to rely on the weather to water the pitch after the seed had been sown.  We are so lucky to have such an experienced Groundsman in Gary Ventris who knows everything there is to know such as when to cut the grass, fertilise the pitch etc. etc.  

We received a request from Sunderland to play a game this week at HP but unfortunately it was felt that it was a little too soon to allow a game to be played so we had to say no to that request but we have agreed to keep in touch with Sunderland so there may be the possibility of games featuring one of their teams at HP in the future.

The goalposts are now up (and have been washed!), the dugouts in place (also washed!) and the pitch will be marked on Thursday or Friday ready for the first match at HP this season which will be Darlington v Boston United on Saturday.  By the way work has commenced on Darlington’s new stadium and I would expect Darlington to be at HP until the end of this year.

We had the launch of the new away strip down at HP the day before the Whitby game.  I was really surprised at the colour of the new strip which is totally different from previous away strips.  I really like it and pre-orders for replica shirts home and away are available.

Adult sizes from S- XXL and youth sizes from S – XL

Costs are £35 for adult and £28 for youth sizes, number on back of shirt is £4.00 and a name on back of shirt £6.00

Please email [email protected] with your requirements.

So it was to our first official game of the season last Saturday when we travelled to Thornaby in the FA Cup Extra preliminary Round.  We told the Manager there couldn’t be a replay at HP so the lads did us justice and confidently beat our second division opponents 4-0. Nelson beat Ashington so our next FA Cup tie is away to nelson on August 20th.  We have contacted Garnett’s to ask about coach availability and prices so we expect to be able to announce prices for supporters travel to the game soon.

On Monday night we enjoyed our meal at the Spice Lounge in Bishop where the supporters club held a fund raising evening and raised around £500 for their funds. My table even won the quiz!!  Many thanks to everyone who attended including Steve and Amy-Leigh and some of our players.

I’m looking forward to our trip to Penrith on Saturday where we will hope for a better result than our defeat last year.  With the new players adding to some retained from last year I am pretty confident we will achieve a victory. No pressure there lads!!

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