Saturday, 18 November 2017

Support is not always measured in money

It is possible to have come away from Hillsborough yesterday feeling disappointed.

Sheffield Wednesday 0

Bristol City 0

No goals !  No sponsorship !  No money for Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham !

Oh dear !

However, I am NOT disappointed and as you read today's blog I hope you will share my view and think the same.

Support does not always mean money .

We were there to present Sheffield Wednesday Football Club with a gift, the two club anthems, in vinyl form of course - SINGING THE BLUES and HO HO SILVER LINING.

We arrived at the car park opposite Hillsborough before it had opened. The staff opened the gate so we could drive in. The man who was in charge knew who we were and made us welcome. "Back again," he said.

The fact is that OurRebekah and what we are all about was travelling up the M1 ahead of us.

A warm welcome was there waiting for us in the club reception. Club Director Trevor had everything ready. He led us down on to the pitch where Club Mascot Ozzie was standing waiting for us.

Tony from Secklow Radio, presenter of Time Tunnel, handed over the two 7" vinyl singles with Gary  giving the club a special card OurRebekah had made up. That card has more than one hundred signatures.

The photograph taken by the club's official photographer will appear in a future match-day programme. I have been asked to write something to go with that image.

You can see here the club photographer organising the pictures. This is not the first time OurRebekah friends have been on the pitch at Sheffield Wednesday to have our photograph taken

I tried to explain to Club Director Trevor how much I enjoy not just watching the game but being part of the crowd and soaking up the atmosphere.

I hear so many people complaining about the way the clubs they support are run.  Nobody could rightly complain about the club I support.

Sheffield Wednesday is a brilliantly organised friendly club.

There were young children from both fan bases, Sheffield Wednesday and visiting club Bristol City on the pitch ahead of kick off kicking balls around.

The owner of the club was wandering around, talking to and shaking hands with people. I was particularly impressed with the time he spent chatting to one fan close to where we were sitting.

At a previous game Gary and I had a conversation with one of the stewards. That was at a capacity match a few weeks ago. Can you believe he steward recognised me, remembered what I had said ? He came across and spoke to me.

There was a photo journalist from Sheffield paper, he knew why I was at the game. He stopped to talk to me then took my photograph. He knew what OurRebekah is trying to do.

The result - a goalless draw. Disappointing ? Actually NO.  Both teams, I thought played well. It was a fun game to watch. Fortunately Bristol failed to connect and put the ball in the net. Unfortunately Sheffield did the same. Sitting in Burger King after the game Gary pulled out his phone and checked the fans' comments on social media. Many were scathing and critical.  I wonder if they had been at the same game as I had. I could not be critcal.

Later today I will call up JustGiving and make a personal donation of £100 to each of the three Ronald McDonald Houses OurRebekah supports - Bristol, Birmingham and Alder Hey, Liverpool.  But SUPPORT does not only mean money does it ?  Our being at Hillsborough yesterday raised the profile of Ronald McDonald Houses and the loving work they do to a new level.  Of course, as a Wednesday fan I wanted the goals.  Tomorrow I have a meeting with staff from Ronald McDonald Houses from Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool.  I will bounce into that meeting in my usual way, I have gifts of scarfs and programmes from the game. These will be passed to families in the houses. I may even give someone the hat I am wearing !

Yesterday was a BRILLIANT day.  Thank You - Trevor.  Thank You Sheffield Wednesday. You raised the profile of what we are trying to do in supporting Ronald McDonald Houses to a great and new high level.


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