The Former Players Association wish to Congratulate the Manager, his Players and Coaching Staff on achieving the task of securing our Premiership status and by doing so gaining the most points and highest position the Club has achieved in any Premiership season. However, as Roy has said, he is sharing the glory with Roberto Di Matteo and as an Association we also wish to comment that the work Roberto & his staff did prior to Christmas gave a platform for Roy to work with. So our congratulations go to both Managers on there success with the Football team. Football is a harsh business and there is such a fine line between failure and success, around the Christmas period we outplayed Villa, Bolton and Man U lost all 3 games 2-1 but could so easily have won them and then probably our previous Manager would still be here. Roy comes in and his first game against the Wolves we snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat and history has been written ever since.
If success has been attained on the Football Park then we feel that success has also been achieved off it with our working relationship with Adrian Wright and his Commercial Department. This season we have supplied the Guest Speakers for the pre-match entertainment in the Richardson, Millichip, Pennington and Bassett Suites. Our quality of Speaker has reflected well on both the Association and the Football Club, we have had John Giles for Manchester United, Cyrille Regis for Aston Villa plus John Wile, Ally Robertson, Brendon Batson, Ray Wilson, Alec Jackson, Derek Monaghan, Joe Mayo, Bob Taylor to name but a few. We also had a Guest Representative from Liverpool in David Fairclough, Paul Elliott for Chelsea and John Deehan for Villa.
Another highlight was the Dave Matthews Dinner in March to celebrate his 50 years service with the Football Club. Again we had a huge gathering of Former Players and Managers to celebrate with Dave. Tony Mowbray, Brian Talbot, Ron Atkinson were some of the Managers along with Lee Hughes, Darren Moore, Stan Jones, Bobby Hope, Gary Strodder, Paul Raven being some of our Members who attended.
We can now sit back and enjoy the summer months in the knowledge that we are quite comfortably going to have a 2nd season in the toughest league in the world and that everyone in some way or other has had an enjoyable 9 months.
So what does the summer hold for the Former Players Association, well on Monday 27th June we are holding our annual Golf Day at Walsall Golf Club. We have at the time of going to print 17 teams signed up and the usual gang of Former Players in the likes of the 2 Ally’s Robertson & Brown, Bobby Hope, John Kaye, Mick Fudge, Brendon Batson, Joe Mayo, Gary Robson plus a new name in Graham Lovett and hopefully Cyrille Regis. It is a 1.30 shotgun start followed by a Dinner, cost £325 per team of 3 plus a Former Player. Anyone interested please contact Geoff Snape on 07860 523866.
The following Sunday (July 3rd) we are donning our “Whites” to take part in a Charity Cricket match against Lapworth Cricket Club starting at 2.00pm. Those agreeing to take part include Paul Raven, Ian Hamilton, Neil Clements, Brendon & Cyrille, possibly a guest appearance from Gladstone Small, Jamie Bunch from the Foundation, Ally Robertson, Joe Mayo and the Association Treasurer Norman Westbury.
After that it is time to relax and enjoy ourselves before the business of Premiership Football starts all over again in August.
To everyone who has supported the Association from the Football Club to the Supporters Association from our Sponsors to the supporters a very big thank you and we wish you all an excellent summer wherever it may take you.