How many people serve one company or organisation for 50 years, very few in reality and most certainly in the cut throat world of football the number you can probably count on one hand. So Dave Matthews deserved his Tribute Dinner on Thursday 24th March, to have served the club you loved as a boy and then to be employed is probably every Albion fans dream, it certainly was David’s dream.
Ally Robertson-Ray Wilson-John Wile
Over 330 Guests attended including a host of Former Players and Managers, David selected 5 ex Players from each decade he has worked plus those Managers and Coaches he had built good relationships with during their time at the Club. The Dinner was organised jointly between the Supporters Association and the Former Players Association and the money raised will be split, at David’s request, between these 2 Associations plus 2 Charities of David’s choice.
Bobby Taylor and Ossie Ardiles
Sky and the Premier League Productions were in attendance to capture the evening and many fine tributes were made on tape and subsequently broadcast on the respective programmes.
Brendon Batson with Dave Matthews
Tributes were made on the evening by John Giles and Ron Atkinson, both in unison about the work ethics and standards Dave attains in his role as Kitman. Tony Mowbray also congratulated Dave on his 50 years and a presentation was made on behalf of all Premier League Clubs in the form of a presentation folder containing letters from every Premier League Manager. A presentation was made by John Homer on behalf of the Supporters and Brendon made the presentation on behalf of the Former Players, at the same time making Dave an honorary Member of the Association.
Colin Addison Ossie Ardiles and Ron Atkinson
Many tributes were made and Dave responded accordingly, the evening was compeered professionally by Peter McGovern as usual and the guests were superbly entertained by Kevin Lynch who recited many tales of his time as a Football League Referee.
Craig Shakespeare and stan Jones
Dave made a presentation to those who had helped organise the evening, it was an evening everyone enjoyed and will remember but none more so than Dave Matthews and his family who had joined him to celebrate this magnificent achievement.
Dave matthews with messrs Homer-Cleverley-Snape and Westbury
Those in attendance:
Managers & Coaches: Roy Hodgson, Michael Appleton, Dean Kiely, Ron Atkinson, Brian Whitehouse, Colin Addison, Albert McPherson, Bobby Gould, Brian Talbot, Tony Mowbray, Ossie Ardiles, Keith Burkinshaw, John Giles. Richard Roberts Physio.
Former Players: Graham Williams, Bobby Hope, Tony Brown, Alec Jackson, Stan Jones, Mick Fudge, John Kaye, Brendon Batson, Cyrille Regis, Ally Robertson, John Wile, Derek Statham, Derek Monaghan, Nicky Cross, Don Goodman, Ian Hamilton, Paul Raven, Gary Strodder, Craig Shakespeare, Neil Clements, Lee Hughes, Darren Moore, Ray Wilson, Joe Mayo.
Derek Statham Joe Mayo Ally Robertson
Tony Brown and Joe mayo
Roy Hodgson and Tom Ross
Messrs-Wiilliams-Kaye and Hope-signing session