Your Football Club Needs You


JANE AUSTEN'S ALLEGRO


I saw that Pools put out a call to fans to see if they would volunteer their services to the club and assist in prepping Victoria Park ahead of crowds returning for the Weymouth match.

I rallied to Raj's call and when I turned up at the recruiting office I was crestfallen when I was informed that I would not be needing my football boots, but in their place a paint brush or a cleaning cloth would be the order of the day.

Once within the confines of the Vic I spent several days on various cleaning duties beginning with the seats in the Cyril Knowles stand before moving on to their counterparts in the Rink End and finally the Mill House.

Don't ask me how I know (but texture and colour is a clue) but the pigeons favour the Rink End whilst the Mill House is the domain of seagulls.

I would be disappointed if David Attenborough disagreed with me but if there was ever a case for culling these two faeces, sorry, I meant species of birds, cleaning up after them would be high on the list. Just rats with wings the pair of them.
"I have to admit that spending time at the Vic was a real eye opener and it gives one an idea of all the unseen maintenance and work that has to be carried out behind the scenes to keep the ground functioning"

Talking of which, you want to see the state of my car covered in seagull droppings and I live 5 miles from the the coast as the crow/seagull/ pigeon flies. I bet the seagulls that fly around our estate have never seen the sea.

Later in the week it was my turn to put white droppings on the terracing as I tried to apply white paint to the fencing.

I have to admit that spending time at the Vic was a real eye opener and it gives one an idea of all the unseen maintenance and work that has to be carried out behind the scenes to keep the ground functioning, not just on match day but on a day-to-day basis, come hail rain or shine ...and more rain.

The one thing that hit home was that it is a great pity that, football aside, Victoria Park, like many other football grounds throughout the country, is not utilised on a daily basis to its full capacity, which could bring in much needed revenue.

In addition to the volunteers like myself who turned up ahead of the Weymouth game there are another hard core of what I would call the unseen full-time volunteers who have turned up on a daily basis for years and are fully committed to the cause and take their work very seriously. No job is too big or small for them. Mainly done with a shrug of their shoulders and a smile on their face after some off-the-cuff remark from one of their colleagues. Unsung heroes one and all.

Should the club once again appeal for volunteers I would urge anyone to offer their services be it skilled or unskilled. I got a lot of enjoyment from the experience, met some good people and had a laugh along the way. Mind, I'm not sure I would have put the same effort into cleaning my own house!

I really enjoyed my spell doing my bit for the club and I now know how my Mum felt after getting on her hands and knees and cleaning the church pews. It was because she was doing something for something that she loved dearly.

In my case, let's just say that Victoria Park is my church.

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