Wrexham AFC

Emergency on Planet Earth #33

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

I was very excited to receive the following email yesterday:

Hey,

Is anybody else around? I had a great workout this afternoon, and a really nice shower. I couldnt get you out of mind so I started playing with myself.

I really wanted you to see so I filmed it.

Can you show me how big it gets babe?

Text me after you watch the whole clip, my number is posted at the end. I know you will enjoy yourself.

Cassandra

In Loneliness Awareness Week, l think it is particularly cruel to send these type of emails to isolated souls with a high sex drive. There was a link in this email to the film that Cassandra had so kindly shot for me. As a gentleman, l managed to resist clicking on this as l am wise enough to realise that this would have led to a complete computer crisis.

I just can’t help but wonder who writes this type of thing and whether they actually profit from such spam?

I could also hedge my bets and let Cassandra know that l am ready and waiting for further emails and pictures before showing her just  how big it gets…

Well, there’s no harm in hoping.

***

Following yesterdays post regarding football scores for the 1983/84 season,l received a Facebook comment on my post that suggested l should try Soccerbase as a solution to my statistical searching.

I followed the link that my friend and comrade, Keith Sinclair, had provided and was excited to find exactly what l was looking for. This will make a huge difference to my project as l venture back to 1983/84. The fact that l am choosing to go back to a time when Thatcher was in power is a little confusing to me as l know that she was laying all the foundations on which modern Britain is based. I will explore such questions in full during the blogs l write about the 1983/84 season.

All l know is that football had not grown into the monolithic beast that it is today – sure there were signs that the capitalist take over was already underway, but on the whole football was still a working class sport rather than a business.

***

Karma is a beautiful thing..,.

 

Open Letter Regarding 2:1 Support

I was sad to learn about the death of Wrexham Archives Assistant, Julian Crute, he helped me a great deal with my research into Wrexham AFC football matches and was always polite and enthusiastic. May he rest in peace.

***

IMG_0805-1-1

I have spent the last 10 years fighting for my right to Independent Living. With the help of my comrades, l led the campaign to Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (#SaveWILG) – something that we are still trying to bring to a satisfactory conclusion.

While l have been carving out a reputation as a disability activist, it has been unfortunate that my neurological condition has progressed. It is no longer possible for me to communicate with the outside world without support. I am sure you can imagine that is very frustrating for someone with such a creative and active mind. I have several writing projects that l wish to pursue, l need to express myself artistically and it is my intention to continue with my activism.

The problem is that the PAs that I employ have other duties to fulfil during a shift – washing, toileting, showering, dressing, eating, drinking, cleaning, cooking and the like. I am often unable to get the thoughts that are locked inside my head on to paper whether it be a blog, poem or a piece of art. This obviously effects my mental health and I feel that I am constantly searching for an escape route from the prison of frustration that I have been sentenced to.

Thankfully, l live in Wales and we have the Social Services and Wellbeing Act to protect me – at least on paper. I think it is about time that disabled people stood up for what they are legally entitled to.

The 24/7 support that l have fought so hard for is a starting point not an end point. Having one person with me 24/7 provides safety and basic support but the Act is designed to ensure that EVERYONE has a “legally enforceable right” to a decent quality of life .I fully intend to live what is left of my life to the full, although l cannot do this  without adequate support.

Hopefully, l will be able to achieve my goal of 2:1 support without too much hassle. My previous experiences with local authorities do not fill me with confidence, but the route to achieving the support an individual needs to live life to the full, needs to be opened up so that each member of society is able to compete and contribute on a level playing field.

Nathan Lee Davies

Memory Match – 30-04-52

It has been a while since I last wrote a Memory Match column. I spent 2015-2018 writing these articles for the Wrexham AFC matchday programme when we were proud to be a community club.

Unfortunately, the club’s treatment of disabled supporters is nothing short of a disgrace, while the treatment of the proactive Disabled Supporters Association leaves a lot to be desired. I am therefore withdrawing my support of the club until ALL disabled supporters are given adequate and inclusive facilities from which to enjoy the football served up at the Racecourse.

Instead I will go to watch 90 minutes of action, wherever I feel I am welcomed. It goes without saying that I will always have one ear on the Wrexham result as it is not the actual club that I have fallen out with. It is merely the way the club is being run that I have an issue with. I will continue to attend matches when it is my turn on the platform rota and away matches, but I am not wasting any more time at the bottom of the stand with an abysmal view of the action while exposed to the elements. It is a disgrace that disabled supporters are being treated in such a way at the start of the 21st century.

I still want to continue with these Memory Match articles as they proved popular. I also enjoy writing them and remembering a time when it was enjoyable to visit the Racecourse and watch a decent standard of football.

** This was written before the Coronavirus outbreak. But l see no reason why my opinions should change. It goes without saying that l wish everyone associated with the club the very best of health, but I remain convinced that Wrexham AFC will only prosper by being inclusive for ALL supporters. ** 

***

30/04/52

Wrexham v Stockport County

League Division Three (Northern Section)

Racecourse Ground

Result: 0-0

Wrexham: Connor, Speed, Fisher, McCallum, Spruce, Tapscott, Wynn, Hewitt, Bannan, Tilston, Tunnicliffe 

Stockport County: Ward, Staniforth, Kavanagh, Wilmott, Paterson, Cocker, Haddington, Connor, Black, Weigh

Attendance: 4,716

It is always important for any team to get off to a good start to the season, but the 1951/52 campaign began with six consecutive defeats for Peter Jackson’s men. An opening day defeat at Chester (2-1), was not a good omen for things to come, and our confidence obviously took a battering. Defeats against Barrow (3-1), Chesterfield (0-3), Barrow (2-4), Bradford Park Avenue (5-0) and Workington (2-0) left us rock bottom of the table with little hope for the months ahead.

We didn’t manage to climb the league ladder until late December, when we whacked Southport 3-0 at the Racecourse. Although we managed to stay clear of bottom spot for the remainder of the season, it should be noted that we didn’t manage to climb above 15th, in a terribly inconsistent run of form.

Players and fans alike were probably relieved to be staging the final game of a rotten term. Expectation was low as the visitors had been pushing for promotion to Division 2, and were only denied by Lincoln City, who eventually finished ten points clear of the chasing pack. The form of the Hatters had been so impressive that Division 1 strugglers Huddersfield Town had poached their manager, Scotsman Andy Beattie, in a failed bid to prevent relegation. The joint managerial team of Alex Herd and Billy Newton arrived at the Racecourse hoping to secure a permanent position with the club.

The form book went out of the window this afternoon, as Wrexham were on top for the fist 20 minutes. A neutral would have thought it was the home side who had been challenging at the summit throughout the season.

It really was a sparkling display by the Robins and only a lack of incisive finishing kept the game goalless. Hatters keeper Denis Ward made a fine save after Tommy Bannan looked certain to score, but this was one of the only times that Ward would be called into action during the opening period. We were on top, but the pressure we were piling on to a shambolic visiting defence, did not result in any shots on goal.

At the other end, Bob Connor was largely a spectator. He was only called into action on one occasion during the first half, when he was forced to scramble away an effort by Stockport’s Jack Connor. Meanwhile, Ward was lucky not to concede when both Ron Wynn and Tommy Tilston threatened to break the deadlock.

It seemed that the second half would follow a similar pattern to the first, as Ron Hewitt struck the crossbar shortly after the restart. His effort rebounded , and signalled the start of more sustained Wrexham pressure, which was dealt with by dogged County defenders Fred Kenny and Gordon Wilmott.

Despite being in the driving seat, the Wrexham defence still had to stay alert. This was underlined when full back Les Speed made a mistake that led to an opportunity for visiting attacker Ray Weigh. His shot cannoned back off Connor’s legs. Stockport did come back in to the game from this stage onwards, but neither side really threatened to steal both points.

County finished the season in third spot, while Wrexham’s final position depends on which source you believe. According to Wrexham: A Complete Record 1872 – 1992 we achieved a fourteenth place finish at the start of the book, but the season by season data near the end of the book states that we limped to a disappointing  eighteenth. Wikipedia also shows us in eighteenth, whilst the English National Football Archive suggests we ended up seventeenth.

***

Just two days after the end of the season, Peter Jackson released his retained list. The squad was cut substantially from 35 professionals, to just 20 for the following season. Willie Jessop and Cyril Lawrence could feel particularly disappointed as according to the North Wales Guardian, both were “ninety-minute triers” and popular amongst fans. Eyebrows were also raised by those not included on the list:

“In contrast, one player who has said quite frankly more than once, that he wants a transfer is retained! That player is Archie Ferguson – a very good goalkeeper – but is it wise to keep a player who is not happy with his club? Is it fair to the player or the club?”

***

It is also interesting to note that Tommy Griffiths, who had been trainer-coach for two seasons relinquished his position. A former centre-half and captain of Wales, he had begun his playing career at Wrexham. He had taken up a role as a director at the Cae Ras three years previously, but resigned to become trainer-coach.

***

We failed to find any glory in the cup competitions either. A lacklustre season was summed up by a second round defeat in the FA Cup, at the hands of Leyton Orient. We did push the East Londoners all the way though. A first round triumph over Halifax Town (3-0), set up a contest with the O’s that finished 1-1 at the Racecourse. The Third Division (South) side hosted the replay, which they eventually won 3-2, after extra time. Brisbane Road has never been a happy hunting ground…

A thumping 7-2 victory over Colwyn Bay in the fifth round of the Welsh Cup promised much. Chester held us to a goalless draw at the sixth round stage, so it was off to Sealand Road to turn them over 0-2 on their own patch. The semi-final saw a clash with Merthyr Tydfil, in a game played in Cardiff. Unfortunately, we lost the match 2-0.

***

 

I was saddened to learn of the passing of former player Cyril Lawrence at the age of 99, via the Official Blackpool FC Website. 

Lawrence was on Blackpool’s books, but never made a first team start for the club before leaving for Rochdale. After 4 seasons and 44 appearances for the Dale he was transferred to the Town where he racked up 50 games in a 2 year spell.

I have just looked up Cyril’s date of birth and in a weird coincidence it is tomorrow – 12/06/1920.

My thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.

Emergency on Planet Earth #25

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 

***

There can be no doubt that we are living in politically volatile times. The following weeks and months will be crucial in deciding what type of society we will leave behind for future generations.

Amidst all the Coronavirus crisis, a vitally important new campaign has grown from appalling police brutality in the United States of America. You can read more about the George Floyd case and the #BlackLivesMatter campaign by clicking on this link. 

I would like to send my solidarity to everyone fighting for equality and justice. I feel powerless myself, to help make such a fundamental change in society, from the UK, but I wish my fellow Britons  would show a similar show of unrest against the status quo, as our American cousins are doing across the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, my personal crusade to establish a suitable independent living package is continuing. #SaveWILG campaigners are still working hard behind the scenes to make themselves heard, and we are hoping to make a positive announcement in the near future. Despite having a different focus, our aims are similar to those involved in the #BlackLivesMatter  campaign – equality and the ability to live life on a level playing field with the rest of society.

***

The words of Vaughan Gething, that I totally agree with in principle. I always knew this day would come…

***

From The Skwawkbox:

New study shows “NO statistically significant difference” in viral load between children and adults – and concludes that opening schools will drive new peak

Video: thousands gather in Liverpool for ‘I can’t breathe’ protest

Video: police chief to Trump – ‘on behalf of the police chiefs in this country, you’re putting lives at risk. If you don’t have something constructive, keep your mouth shut’

***

List music from your High-School years

I really do not have much to say here as I didn’t really start getting interested in music until I started sixth-form College. This was due to a variety of reasons. For a start my main interest was all consuming. I lived and breathed football with a particular interest in Everton FC and Wrexham AFC. During that time, it is also a fact that music was absolutely tragic. I did make several attempts to listen to the latest hits via top of the pops and the charts, but the music scene failed to invigorate me.

There were a few brushes with music that were enjoyable. One of my first cassette tapes was Now 5 to enjoy on my new cassette radio player. One of my favourite tracks on there was Song for Whoever by The Beautiful South. A full listing of this album can be found in the notes at the back of the book. 

It is embarrassing to have to admit that my first single purchase at the age of 11 was New Kids on The Block with their UK debut: The Right Stuff. Go ahead and laugh, but I was young and naïve. I like to think that my taste has improved since then. 

From Wikipedia:

New Kids on the Block (also initialized as NKOTB) is an American boy band from Dorchester, Massachusetts, United States. The band consists of brothers Jonathan and Jordan KnightJoey McIntyreDonnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. New Kids on the Block enjoyed success in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have sold more than 70 million records worldwide.[2] They won two American Music Awards in 1990 for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group and Favorite Pop/Rock Album.[3] The group disbanded in 1994, and reunited in 2008.

After secretly reuniting in 2007 and recording a new record, the group released that new album and embarked on a concert tour in 2008. The album, entitled The Block, was released on September 2, 2008. New Kids on the Block was listed as number 16 on Rolling Stone‘s Top 25 Teen Idol Breakout Moments.[4] The group was on tour with the Backstreet Boys in 2011–12 as NKOTBSB. This collaboration first performed live together on November 21, 2010 at the American Music Awards on ABC[5] and again on 2011 New Year’s on ABC’s Dick Clark/Ryan Seacrest show.[6][7] The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 9, 2014

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Memory Match – 19-03-49

It has been a while since I last wrote a Memory Match column. I spent 2015-2018 writing these articles for the Wrexham AFC matchday programme when we were proud to be a community club.

Unfortunately, the club’s treatment of disabled supporters is nothing short of a disgrace, while the treatment of the proactive Disabled Supporters Association leaves a lot to be desired. I am therefore withdrawing my support of the club until ALL disabled supporters are given adequate and inclusive facilities from which to enjoy the football served up at the Racecourse.

Instead I will go to watch 90 minutes of action, wherever I feel I am welcomed. It goes without saying that I will always have one ear on the Wrexham result as it is not the actual club that I have fallen out with. It is merely the way the club is being run that I have an issue with. I will continue to attend matches when it is my turn on the platform rota and away matches, but I am not wasting any more time at the bottom of the stand with an abysmal view of the action while exposed to the elements. It is a disgrace that disabled supporters are being treated in such a way at the start of the 21st century.

I still want to continue with these Memory Match articles as they proved popular. I also enjoy writing them and remembering a time when it was enjoyable to visit the Racecourse and watch a decent standard of football.

** This was written before the Coronavirus outbreak. But l see no reason why my opinions should change. It goes without saying that l wish everyone associated with the club the very best of health, but I remain convinced that Wrexham AFC will only prosper by being inclusive for ALL supporters. ** 

***

19/03/49

Wrexham v Carlisle United

League Division Three (Northern Section)

Racecourse Ground

Result: 4-0

 Wrexham: Ferguson, Tunney, Jackson, Speed, Spruce, Wilson, Grainger, Beynon, Boothway, Sharp, Tunnicliffe

Goalscorer: Boothway (2), Beynon (2)

 Carlisle United: MacLaren, Simpson, Coupe, Horton, Seed, Twentyman, Turner, Lindsay, Yates, Barkas, Walshaw

Attendance: 7,340

The 1948/49 season saw plenty of changes as one chapter closed, and another began.

Everything seemed to be going to plan, with the Town competing near the top of the Third Division North table. Following a fourth successive victory, against Accrington Stanley (1-0) we found ourselves in sixth position. With everything seemingly going well, it came as a massive shock when Tom Williams was relieved of his duties, even though his contract was due to run until 1950. Two of the club’s directors also retired in protest at the dismissal.

One of these figures, Alderman William Dodman said: “Tom Williams was highly respected everywhere. He always said that his dismissal by Wrexham was an injustice, and I agree with him. If the club had been left in his hands, I think Wrexham would have been a Second Division side long ago. He managed the club during the war, without pay and he got a team together that could, and did hold its own against the best in the country. His heart was always with Wrexham FC, and he once said that he would go back for nothing.”

A committee took over team selection while a new manager was found. This committee had been in charge of the three games prior to this one, and we were still searching for our first victory. We had slid down to ninth position and it was clear that a new manager had to be appointed as soon as possible.

We had lost the reverse fixture at Brunton Park by the odd goal in five. Since that game in October, both clubs had a change of management. Ivor Broadis had been in charge of United, but had since been replaced by Bill Shankly, a man who would become legendary in his own right. This was to be Shankly’s third game in the dug-out, and prior to this game he was undefeated in club management, with a victory against Bradford City (1-2) coming before a goalless draw against Halifax Town.

They would not have everything their own way this afternoon though, as the home side dominated proceedings. Wrexham scored all of their goals in the second half of the contest, but also played some impressive football during the opening period. As ‘Wanderer’ recounts in the Wrexham Leader: “There were periods of delightful movement; there were periods of bad luck in front of goal, and the inevitable periods of erratic shooting. But for the rest it was ninety percent Wrexham’s half”.

With the game goalless at half-time, fans worried that the lads would fall away completely as they had done against Stockport County (1-0) just seven days previously. Any nerves were soon settled when Jack Boothway netted three minutes after the restart. According to Wanderer the goal was a tribute to “Beynon’s fine initiative and individualism” – the Welsh inside forward powered through the visiting defence and his resulting drive beat Jimmy MacLaren. The shot stopper was saved by the crossbar, but Boothway was on hand to nod home the opening goal.

Wrexham were now in the driving seat, much as they had been throughout, but now they had made the all-important breakthrough. After proving that they could be clinical in front of goal, the home side asserted their dominance. On 57 minutes, Billy Tunnicliffe managed to send over an inviting cross which unfortunately eluded Boothway. Thankfully, Eddie Beynon was on hand to send a left-footed drive through a crowd of players that found its way passed an un-sighted MacLaren.

The game was now effectively over as a contest and it came as no surprise when Boothway planted home a header on 73 minutes after a pinpoint cross by Tunnicliffe. Soon after, Beynon latched on to a loose ball and raced forward before dispatching a right-foot drive past the beleaguered figure of MacLaren.

***

 Despite this pleasing victory, we were still without a manager who could provide stability and guidance for the future. We played another couple of games under the committee, in which we continued to show a lack of consistency. A 2-0 defeat at Gateshead was followed by a single-goal victory over Hartlepools United.

Thankfully, prior to our next game against Darlington at Feethams, we appointed Les McDowall as our new manager. The Manchester City wing-half became Wrexham’s first player-manager. It was an inauspicious start to his managerial career, as Wrexham only recorded two victories in the last seven games of the season.

***

It wasn’t a memorable season in the cup competitions. Oldham Athletic dumped us out of the FA Cup at the first round stage. They managed to beat us 0-3 at the Racecourse in front of 15,228 supporters.

It was a similar story in the Welsh Cup, but not before we hammered Chester 0-6 at Sealand Road. Those dreaming of further Welsh Cup glory would be disappointed in the sixth round when Rhyl beat us 1-0 at Belle Vue.

Demand Change at WST/WAFC

My attention has just been drawn to a petition that is being hosted by Change.org, in relation to the necessary changes needed at Wrexham AFC. This is an issue that is very close to my heart, as I am one of the disgruntled supporters who currently refuses to support the club whilst it is being run by the current regime. 

The petition text has been copied below. It is the finest piece of writing about our football club, that I have read for a long time. I fully support every word, and encourage others – whether you are a fan of Wrexham, or not – to sign the petition. 

The petition can be signed by clicking here.

***

 

An open letter back to the Wrexham Supporters Trust and the board of Wrexham AFC

As you have stated that during the COVID-19 pandemic, football is low on a lot of people’s priority lists. However, it can be argued that for many supporters of Wrexham AFC the football club was becoming less of a priority anyway.

In your statement you wrote:

“the future of the Football Club depends on us uniting”

I completely agree. However, uniting the fanbase is impossible without wholesale changes at the club.

Amongst other grievances; frequent poor managerial appointments, the lack of entertainment or success on the pitch, the appalling treatment of the disabled supporter’s association, not instigating what the club members voted for, not being open to accountability, a lack of communication on key issues and not addressing the allegations that the club was close to administration under the WST’s guidance has left a bitter taste in the mouths of Wrexham fans.

Under the guidance of the current board members and their appointments to the football management positions, we have endured our worst ever season in 156 years as a football club. Many supporters feel alienated, apathetic and disinterested in a football club that just a short while ago they were immensely passionate about.

Continuing with the same set-up we have, with the same individuals holding key positions will not heal the divides. Many have expressed that whilst certain individuals are still employed as part of the football management set-up, they will not attend the Racecourse again. Many have expressed that whilst the current board members still hold their positions, they refuse to spend any more money on Wrexham AFC. The club is more divided, passionless and unguided than I could ever have imagined. It is a dangerous time to leave those divides unhealed and actions must be taken.

You have stated that:

“The time to pursue changes will come – and we have systems in place to ensure ALL members can have their voices heard.”

Yet you do not state what these systems are. You do not state what changes you’re open to. You do not state your intention to change, only your intention to listen. Further to that, there is a feeling that the club board has not been welcoming to criticism, suggestions and change in the past.

The bottom line is statements like this change nothing. Actions are needed to not only secure the future of the football club but to see it have a better chance of success.

The club is asking for renewed support. The price for that is change. In order for everyone to unite and to get pride, optimism and respect back into the fanbase there must be a promise from the club to enact the changes that the fanbase wants to see.

Regardless of which individuals must resign or be removed from the club the desire for change must be implemented. We must have individuals in key positions that we can put our faith in. We cannot continue with many fans boycotting the club due to certain individuals being employed here. We cannot continue with a fanbase that has no hope of change or success. We cannot continue with a set-up that has failed to reach our goals. Without changes, we will fall even further when we have already hit our lowest ever point.

We are writing to you to demand change. Change to the Wrexham Supporters Trust board, change to the Wrexham AFC club board, change to the management team and change to a re-united and once again deliriously passionate Wrexham AFC.

If you truly want the football club to succeed you do not merely have “serious questions to answer” – you have serious actions to take.

The changes we wish to see implemented are as follows:

· The immediate resignation/removal of Spencer Harris from both the Wrexham AFC club board and the Wrexham Supporters Trust board.

· The immediate resignation/removal of John Mills from both the Wrexham AFC club board and the Wrexham Supporters Trust board.

· A consistent and prominent effort to advertise for new board members to run for election onto both the Wrexham AFC club board and Wrexham Supporters Trust boards.

· All Wrexham AFC club board and Wrexham Supporters Trust board members to place themselves up for re-election

· Altering the gateway process for external investment to allow for easier access to investment negotiations with the club.

· Allow for a vote by the membership on whether to proceed with any further work on the proposed new training ground that is to be situated on the land of the former Groves school.

· A re-consideration of whether the current football manager is wanted by the supporters and whether retaining his position at the football club has a detrimental effect on attendances, support, entertainment value and future revenue streams.

Implement change.

Signed by the following supporters who wish to see changes throughout the club:

Emergency on Planet Earth #11

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

Wednesday 15th April

I received the following open letter to all Wrexham AFC supporters, via email yesterday. I am afraid that it was met with indifference from me. I still value the friendships that I have made through association with the club, but I am afraid I have much more important things to worry about at the moment, rather than the long-term future of an institution that has spent the last two seasons actively discouraging inclusion of disabled fans within a once community-minded club.

The email I received read as follows:

An open letter to all Wrexham AFC supporters,

Understandably given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, football is low on a lot of people’s priority lists.

However, the Wrexham Supporters Trust and Wrexham AFC Board must also look at how to protect the future of our football club – and for this we need your help.

As outlined in the club statement, when the decision was taken to furlough all Wrexham AFC employees, the pandemic represents a serious threat to the financial health of the club.

Wrexham AFC are not alone in this regard, of course, and we are fully aware supporters – including ourselves personally – have been seriously impacted, be it from a health, financial or social standpoint.

This is not the time for us to ‘get the begging bowls out’ – and nor would this be feasible in the current climate – but there are other ways supporters can help.

We are proud to be a supporter-owned football club, and it is in times like this we need the involvement of as many of our supporters as possible.

The Wrexham Supporters Trust are keen for fresh ideas to help navigate the club through this unprecedented time and we want to hear from you.

Any ideas or comments you have, please feel free to get in touch – you can email ideas to membership@wst.org.uk.

We are fully aware there are a number of supporters unhappy with the football club and the current ownership model, and we are certainly not beyond reproach or criticism.

While, honestly, we feel some of the criticism has been unjustified, we also understand the main measure of a club’s success is on the pitch – and frankly, this season has been disappointing for all of us.

Wrexham AFC should never be measuring their success on just surviving in the National League, so however the current season concludes it has been one of the most disappointing in the club’s history.

For this, we all take responsibility and, when football resumes, we accept we will all have serious questions to answer.

More immediately, however, we have a responsibility to ensure that – whenever football resumes – we still have a Football Club to support (and not just one that exists, but one that is capable of the success we all crave).

This is why we are calling on all supporters to get involved, regardless of your current views of the club.

The time to pursue changes will come – and we have systems in place to ensure ALL members can have their voices heard.

For now, however, we urge all supporters to come together in the common interest of protecting the future of Wrexham AFC.

We continue to welcome Trust membership too, of course, though we understand this is a difficult time to take on new financial commitments.

For those who can afford it, however, it remains from just £1 a month to be a Trust member and every bit helps – big or small. Trust membership also allows you to vote at AGMs.

To join, or re-join, please see the WST website – details on membership can be found here.

Ultimately, we all want the same thing – success on the pitch, and promotion back into the Football League – and the future of the Football Club depends on us uniting towards this shared goal.

Finally, this is an unprecedented and difficult time for all of us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single member of the Wrexham AFC community for playing their part in helping the country overcome the pandemic. From the key workers on the front line, to community volunteers and to those staying home and following government guidelines, we all still have a role to play.

Isolation and social distancing can take a heavy toll on mental well-being, and we urge everybody to check in on each other. If you need to talk, please pick up the phone.

Stay safe, look after those around you, and we look forward to welcoming you all back to the Racecourse.

The Board of the Wrexham Supporters Trust

***

Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs Statement:

In light of the recent revelations about senior officials undermining the 2017 GE campaign, we, as members of the socialist campaign group of Labour MPs, making the following demands

1. The report should be published in full by the Labour Party

2. An emergency NEC meeting should be convened to discuss its contents

3. That NEC Meeting must establish a transparent process to investigate the conduct alleged in the leaked document, with the terms of reference set by the NEC officers.

4. This process must produce a report, that is publicly available, which restores faith among Labour members in the practices of our party.

We understand the disappointment and frustration that many Labour members will feel with the details revealed in this report. It contents revelations of senior officials undermining the 2017 general election campaign and suggests there are cases to answer on bullying, harassment, sexism and racism.

We express our solidarity with Labour volunteers who give up their spare time to fight for a better society and to get a Labour government.

We believe people must stay and fight for a Labour government, organise to defend our socialist manifesto and push for action.

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VIDEO: TORY SOCIAL CARE MINISTER SQUIRMS AS INTERVIEWER KEEPS ASKING WHY SHE VOTED AGAINST PAY RISE FOR NURSES

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‘DON’T LEAVE, ORGANISE’ – LEFT ORGANISATIONS IN NEW INITIATIVE TO CALL LEFT TO UNITED ACTION

 

 

Emergency on Planet Earth #5

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 

Thursday 2nd April

I received the following email from Board Members of Wrexham Supporters Trust in regards to the future of Wrexham AFC. Basically the club will be furloughing all of their staff in a highly sensible move. The ramifications behind such a move could be huge. Previously, I would have been deeply concerned by what I had read, but since those involved in the running of the club have treated disabled supporters with disdain, I can’t say I will be losing any sleep over the uncertainty of the situation.

While I am struck with a general sense of apathy, I realise that this isn’t the case for many, including a great deal of my friends. For these people I would not like to see the club fold, but for a great deal of us the community club we once held in such high esteem, died many years ago…

UPDATE | COVID19 – Impact on Wrexham AFC

Important update regarding the financial impact of coronavirus

The Board of the Wrexham Supporters Trust wishes to share the following important update regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the Football Club.

Following the recent National League announcement, in which it was confirmed the current season would be suspended indefinitely – and in light of ongoing, vital UK Government restrictions – important decisions have had to be made to safeguard the future of the Football Club.

As well as providing reassurance for supporters, we have been making provision to save every penny we can by systematically shutting down the Racecourse and having a structured approach to cost reduction. However, there are only so many costs we can take out from that approach.

As a result, we have today communicated with all employees of the business – including the playing and coaching staff – to ask them to agree to move into the Government-organised Job Retention Scheme. The decision to furlough employees means we can pay them on an ongoing basis under the conditions announced by the Government.

All employees would remain employees of Wrexham AFC under the terms of their employment contracts.

This decision has not been taken lightly, and we need the understanding, sacrifice and co-operation of the employees of Wrexham AFC for the club to survive and move forwards.

Why have we made this decision?
As communicated on March 17, when we stated the initial suspension of the National League would not cause any immediate issues, we have continued to monitor the situation and its financial impact on the Football Club.Since then, however, the UK Government has imposed restrictions on leaving home and shut down all non-essential business activity.Combined with the indefinite suspension of the National League, and the uncertainty of how long this will continue, coronavirus is having a serious effect on the financial health of the Football Club.

What has happened to Wrexham AFC due to coronavirus?

  • We have lost almost 25% of our home league fixtures (five games) of income from the season and our matchday revenue on the season will be down by in excess of £250,000 versus our budget
  • We have had only two home fixtures since January and, as we move into April, this will be a third month with minimal down to no income
  • All of our non-match day events at the stadium have had to be cancelled
  • We cannot sell season tickets for next season as the future of football is very unclear at this point in time
  • We are left with no way of generating any income to try and cover this period due to Government restrictions

This is the perfect storm at the very wrong time of the year and the majority of clubs in our division will be similarly impacted – with some talking to employees about alternative arrangements as early as March.

Can Wrexham AFC survive this crisis?
The Wrexham Supporters Trust has a track record of steering the club through crisis. Ten years ago, we took over a club that was losing £750,000 per year, with debts of £500,000, that had no assets. We are proud to have turned that into a sustainable business that doesn’t spend more than it can bring in in revenue.

However, coronavirus is the biggest impact on society in living memory and the effects of it are a threat to the continued existence of the Football Club.

The decision to furlough all employees of Wrexham AFC has been taken to protect the future of the Football Club.

Had there been no coronavirus then Wrexham AFC would have continued as a financially stable football club, only spending what it can afford, but coronavirus has impacted us significantly and we understand what a distressing time this is for everyone connected with the Club.

We know that this announcement will cause worry and anxiety for employees, fans and WST Members but we want to assure people we will do all that we can to navigate the Club through this unprecedented time and we will only be able to do that as a collective together.

We also know that people will naturally start to ask what they can do to help as we know how much the club means to so many people. We will continue to communicate as best we can in the coming days/weeks to steer the club through this.

The Board of The Wrexham Supporters Trust.

Memory Match – 13-09-37

It has been a while since I last wrote a Memory Match column. I spent 2015-2018 writing these articles for the Wrexham AFC matchday programme when we were proud to be a community club.

Unfortunately, the club’s treatment of disabled supporters is nothing short of a disgrace, while the treatment of the proactive Disabled Supporters Association leaves a lot to be desired. I am therefore withdrawing my support of the club until ALL disabled supporters are given adequate and inclusive facilities from which to enjoy the football served up at the Racecourse.

Instead I will go to watch 90 minutes of action, wherever I feel I am welcomed. It goes without saying that I will always have one ear on the Wrexham result as it is not the actual club that I have fallen out with. It is merely the way the club is being run that I have an issue with. I will continue to attend matches when it is my turn on the platform rota and away matches, but I am not wasting any more time at the bottom of the stand with an abysmal view of the action while exposed to the elements. It is a disgrace that disabled supporters are being treated in such a way at the start of the 21st century.

I still want to continue with these Memory Match articles as they proved popular. I also enjoy writing them and remembering a time when it was enjoyable to visit the Racecourse and watch a decent standard of football.

13/09/37

Wrexham v Hartlepools United

League Division Three (Northern Section)

Racecourse Ground

Result: 6-3

Wrexham: McMahon, Evans, Bellamy, Smith, Lewis, Odell, Jones, Fraser, Lapham, Phillips, Burgon

Goalscorer: Fraser (2), Jones, Lapham (3)

Hartlepools United: Taylor, Proctor, Allison, Thomas, Reid, Telling, Scott, Curtis, English, West, Self

Goalscorer: Curtis, English, West

Attendance: 2,752

It had been a dreadful start to the 1937/38 season – Jimmy Logan’s first full term in charge. The opening five games produced three defeats, one draw and only one victory – at home to Lincoln City with the only goal of the game coming from a player making his debut, Sidney Barnard. Nevertheless, our inconsistent run in form had left us floundering near the foot of the table. Ahead of the Hartlepools match we were in 19th position.

This game was originally scheduled for a Wednesday evening, but due to a carnival in town it was moved to a Monday evening. This, along with the atrocious weather, affected the attendance with only 2,752 supporters turning up to enjoy the goal fest. It is reported in the North Wales Guardian, that the game was due to kick off at 18:15, but began five minutes earlier because of poor visibility, which made it more likely that the game would end in semi-darkness.

Wrexham opened strongly with Archie Burgon, Ronnie Jones and Harold Lapham all threatening the visitors’ goal. It had been a good start on a slippery pitch, but it was Pools who took the lead after 14. Ernie Curtis swung the ball over from the right, and Norman West shot first time in to the bottom corner of the net. Surely another defeat was not on the cards?

The Blues retaliated almost immediately, and Dai Phillips forced Hartlepool goalkeeper Allan Taylor to make a superb save from his rasping, low drive. We would not have to wait long to celebrate parity though, as the equaliser was scored on 17 minutes through Lapham just three minutes later. According to the Wrexham Leader, this was “one of the finest goals seen on the Racecourse for some time”. Lapham received a throw in from Walter Odell, that he stylishly flicked over his own head. A defender cleared the danger, but only returned the ball to the feet of Lapham who rattled the ball home with pure force.

United could not cope with the dazzling work of the Wrexham forwards, and Jones scored a second just three minutes later. Phillips lofted the ball in to the penalty box, but surely the danger would be snuffed out by the advancing figure of Taylor. However, Jones took advantage of hesitation from the man between the sticks, raced in, robbed his opponent and tapped the ball home.

The game was fast and entertaining, despite the ice-rink of a surface, which frequently caused the visiting defence to miss-kick. Unbelievably though, Hartlepools found themselves on level terms at the interval. Curtis again found himself in a threatening position, after good work down the left flank. The Welsh inside-forward obviously felt at home on the Cae Ras, and slammed the ball high in the roof of the net over a despairing Pat McMahon.

Straight from the restart, Nathan Fraser restored our lead when he skipped past a challenging defender, and hammered an unstoppable ball past Taylor “from an angle which would have puzzled Pythagoras”. Fraser quickly grabbed his second, following a well placed free-kick by Walter Odell.

Jimmy Hamilton’s men still hadn’t had chance to catch their breath, when Lapham made it five with a great solo effort. There had been some great goals for the crowd to enjoy, but Lapham’s third of the match was the cream of the crop. According to the Guardian scribe, “he whipped in a terrific shot, of which the goalkeeper could hardly have caught a glimpse”.

Hartlepools refused to admit defeat though, despite trailing 6-2. Amidst the gathering gloom, the visitors pulled one back when Sam English headed home a perfectly judged corner kick.

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We finished a largely inconsistent season in a respectable 10th position. Hartlepools managed to beat us 0-2 in the reverse fixture on the final day of the campaign at Victoria Park.

The Cup competitions also provided little to shout about. We managed to beat Oldham Athletic (2-1) at the Racecourse in the first round of the FA Cup, but were knocked out after another home fixture against Bradford City (1-2) at the second round stage.

Shrewsbury Town eliminated us from the Welsh Cup at the sixth round stage, with a 1-3 victory in north Wales.

BBC News Report: Wrexham FC in row with disabled supporters’ group

The following article appears on BBC News website. 

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A row has broken out between a football club and its disabled supporters’ group.

Wrexham FC said the club’s Disabled Supporters Association (DSA) went “on strike” after it had a ticket and an on-pitch presentation request refused.

The DSA usually assigns the spaces for wheelchair users but the club said it had to do this itself at a recent match and is now running it itself.

The DSA said the issue was about the presentation.

Wrexham Supporters Trust, which runs the club, spoke out following a “growing social media storm”.

The row centres around the club refusing a request for complimentary match tickets and a pitch presentation for to the DSA after being recognised for an award at a fans’ diversity ceremony in London.

The DSA is part of Allies in Access group and it wanted a similar Midlands-based association to visit for the Ebbsfleet match on 12 October and have the presentation on the pitch.

The club said it was unable to help due to “competition rules” but an offer remained open for a pitch-side photo call on a non-match day as a compromise.

However, following the disagreement and “strike”, the club’s statement said the DSA’s “presence will not be required on the platform… for the remainder of the season”.

“Our disabled supporters rely on the provision of services and we have to ensure they continue to receive a high-quality service without the potential for any possible disruption as it really makes a difference to their match day experience,” the statement said.

“This has been a difficult decision to take by Wrexham AFC but we must ensure the services for some of our most vulnerable supporters are never placed in jeopardy and taking these services in house is the most sensible solution at this time.”

The DSA said the “sour point” was the club’s response to refusing the presentation.

The DSA claimed it had been told that was because it was not a club-related matter.

A statement added: “Rightly or wrongly, this was taken very negatively by members of the Wrexham DSA committee who took it in the context of ‘despite the hours we give to the club on a match day, we are not club related’.”

It said that left some committee members frustrated and said they would not be on duty for the game against Ebbsfleet.