A happy new year to all our members. There is a lot to look forward to over the coming months for all Blackpool fans. The club is certainly making constant and continual improvements off the pitch and clearly there is just as much interest in producing results on the pitch – the current transfer window has already seen Grant Ward, Jordan Thorniley, Marc Bola, Conor Ronan and Gary Madine recruited. Even more players are expected to join the club before the window ends. The football and results in the last month have been disappointing but clearly action is being taken to remedy this. There is certainly ambition within the football club but the formula for footballing success is not an easy one to find – Manchester United, Everton and Sunderland fans can all attest to that.
Dialogue with the club:
Representatives of the Trust recently attended the first in a number of regularly scheduled meetings between the club and supporters. This meeting took the form of an informal Fan’s Forum with lots of different supporters’ groups and individuals putting questions to BFC directors Brett Gerrity and Ben Mansford. It is not at this stage the detailed, structured and comprehensive dialogue that we had hoped for but we fully expect that the format and outcomes from such meetings will gradually develop and improve as the process becomes more refined over time. This remains an area that the Trust is particularly focussed on – the relationship between the club and its supporters is the primary concern of BST.
BST in the community
Blackpool Supporters Trust has a broader remit than being a supporters’ group: the club we support is reliant on its local community and we believe that the Trust should champion and help nurture that community. We have over the past 5 years, working alongside other supporters’ groups, made donations and raised funds of over £100,000. This money has been given to charities as well as fans who had suffered financially at the hands of the Oystons. Our aims are to continue to support those in need directly, offer assistance to charities that work tirelessly for the benefit of others as well as supporting organisations and individuals who want make life better for everyone in our local and extended communities. The club can be a source of pride, inspiration and aspiration. It is our intention to assist the club to achieve these ideals. The BFC Community Trust (BFCCT) is already doing lots of excellent work in this regard and BST is intending to develop a number of initiatives in conjunction with BFCCT to help cement the club’s place as a core component of the regeneration of the town.
Doherty’s Destiny is a support group for people bereaved by suicide, it’s an informal group where you can come along and listen or talk, without pressure or judgement, in confidence to like-minded people who have experienced suicide. The event at the North Euston Hotel on Friday 31st January is to raise support and awareness of this local charity. Some people find it difficult to seek help or talk to someone when their thoughts become troublesome and are unable to see a way of overcoming them other than taking their own life. The message is that there is help available and no situation is so desperate that suicide is the best option. All monies raised at the event will be going to Doherty’s Charity. Derek Spence has been invited as a guest speaker where he will be there sharing memories of his life growing up in Belfast and his eventful football journey.
From The Troubles To The Tower
Speaking of Derek, it is necessary to mention his autobiography which is currently on sale at various outlets including bookshops and very large online retailers. Obviously Derek is a committee member and therefore it might be considered a little nepotistic to advertise the availability of his book in this way, but it is an excellent read and covers the extraordinary and full life of a Blackpool FC favourite. So that’s all the justification that we have or need!
The members of BST and the wider fanbase have received appreciation and gratitude from Home Start for what was the 3rd annual BST foodbank collection that took place outside the west stand just before Christmas. As well as collecting an enormous amount of food, over £600 was collected in financial donations. Also, the raffle of a gin hamper by BST raised £160 for Trinity Hospice / Brian House. We just wanted to thank everyone for their contributions – the generosity of Blackpool supporters never fails to amaze. This month we highlight another local charity that we have supported over the recent Christmas and New year period with food collections from "The Tube Central electrical discount store" and the Armfield Academy" all food and gifts recieved were donated to Amazing Graze, 44 Bolton Street, FY1 6AA.
It serves approx 80 people per night. As with most local charities they rely on donations of all kinds and charitable gifts from the general public.
For more information contact Abbie
Committee members will be available in the club shop before every home game for a chat, to assist with membership renewal and any other issues relating to club and community. Committee member will be there between 1.30pm and 2.30pm for afternoon kick offs and between 6.16pm and 7.15pm for evening matches.
The legend that was Jimmy Armfield passed away two years ago on the 22nd of January 2018. He is still sadly missed and it remains a source of great disappointment and sadness for many of us that Jimmy, and many other Seasiders, were unable to see their beloved club restored to its rightful place in the affections of the local community.