Good Afternoon, and welcome back to Sandy Lane for our final match of what has been a tremendous season for us.
Today we host Eccleshill United as we look to finish the season with a win, and extend that unbeaten run even further.
A win today would set us up perfectly for our visit to Hemsworth Miners Welfare on Tuesday evening as we face them in the semi-final of the NCEL League Cup.
May I take this opportunity to welcome all our sponsors today, and thank you for your continued support throughout this season.
I’ve had a lot of thoughts about what to put into my notes this week, but finally decided that I would use this as an opportunity to thank people.
I was going to do a season run down, and although there have been many many amazing moments for me during this season, I’ll let you read all about them from our very talented and hardworking volunteer Programme Producer, Devon Cash.
Devon stepped up towards the end of last year to do the programmes, due to the ill health of Holly Hunt, and the departure of Jake Brown, and he has taken to it like a duck to water. I know he was so very honoured to be given this opportunity, and has since given it his everything. It has been absolutely fantastic to watch him grow in confidence, and see the programmes get better and better each edition. I’m certain this one is his best to date. Thank you Devon for your continued dedication to our club, your passion and commitment means so much to us.
Continuing with the programme, I would also like to extend my thanks to Luke Atherton and Dan Richards, who both voluntarily assist Devon with the programme, helping him with content and proof reading, along with being a constant support to him. You guys really do make an amazing media team, and with the guidance of Lance Hardy, I know next season will prove to be even more successful on a media front.
Still with the programme and media, I would also like to thank our dedicated photographers. Mike Holmes, Lewis Pickersgill, Lynda Blackshaw and Les Blackshaw, your commitment and dedication to our club is astounding, and I am so grateful for all the images you have captured of this sensational season. Seeing your photos in print each week is fantastic, and I am so proud to have you as part of our club.
John Stocks; historian, content producer and author. The time you give to us is humbling. Two books detailing our history, with all the profits coming to the club, that is amazing. Thank you for everything you do.
Steve Jarvis; club shop volunteer, content producer, and fountain of knowledge, thank you for your continued hard work and commitment, you are yet another unsung hero here at this amazing club.
Chris Randall; kit man, hero and friend, I cannot thank you enough for everything you do as a volunteer. You put in so many unseen hours making sure our players always have clean kits to wear, travelling miles and miles, and to your amazing wife Elizabeth, thank you too, for stepping up and helping with the kit when Chris needs a rest, for coming week after week and helping with hospitality, washing pots, making teas and coffees, and generally being an all round wonderful person.
Our stewards; too many of you to name individually, but thank you to each and every one of you. Your service has helped so much, and your presence on a match day is appreciated immensely. I know you all went through a tough time when we lost our good friend Derek Badger, but you all carried on, and continue to do an amazing job week after week. I am eternally grateful to each of you.
Walt Baker; our volunteer gateman for many many years. Walt is another unsung hero here at the club, in fact I’m sure many of you may not even know who I mean. He is a true gentleman, the kind of person you would be honoured to call a friend. The years you have given this club haven’t gone unnoticed Walt, thank you so very very much.
You, the fans. I don’t think I will ever find the words to express how amazed I am to find such a passionate group of people. So many different personalities all coming together on a weekly basis, rain or shine, and getting behind the team. I’ve said it so many times before, but you really are the twelth man that has pushed our players on to become NCEL Premier Division Champions. You guys are relentless, and I mean that in the best possible way, that never say die attitude is what keeps you all going, and what spurs the lads on week after week. You are all phenomenal, and I will be forever thankful to you all for welcoming me into this amazing, record breaking club, and supporting me on this phenomenal journey. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would achieve so much in such a short time, but we’ve done it, and I can’t wait to celebrate with you all tonight, and again at presentation night on May 18th.
The squad! What can I say? You have made my dreams come true. I am now one of the very proud owners of a league winning club, a club that is on it’s way back to where it belongs. We’ve had bumps along the way, but I couldn’t be more proud of you all. Enjoy this moment, and remember that you are CHAMPIONS!
Niall and Paul, my partners in this sensational experience. I couldn’t have achieved any of this without you by my side. We’ve all done our bit, had some tears, sleepless nights and stress, but we’ve done it. Today we will look out over the balcony and watch as each and every one of the clubs supporters enjoys what they have deserved for so long.
We are The Tigers, we are loud, we are proud and WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. Let’s enjoy this day, and celebrate like we never have before.