Cambridge United programme notes: Football has the power to do so much good

Bill Shankly once said that football was more important than life or death, wrote Murry Toms in our programme notes for the Cambridge United match.

Of course the great man was wrong, although there are times when it feels like that.

The idea for turning the club blue was a Trust one and the club’s board should be applauded for once again, backing an idea that came from the supporters. It’s a simple but effective way of rallying around two of our own at a challenging time in their lives.

It’s what communities are all about and it’s what Cheltenham Town Football Club does best. The joint event between us, the club and the British Lung Foundation should raise a huge amount of awareness around lung disease and a fair few quid along the way.

November also is Lung Cancer Awareness Month so Monday’s announcement is timely. We will be sharing stories and other articles leading up to the Crewe Alexandra match so please read them, and share away. If we help one person through this initiative, then it’ll be worth it.

On the day the Trust are planning to host an ‘fans fest’ with DJ Shippers, building the atmosphere with good music ahead of the game. Afterwards we’ll be auctioning one of the one-off match shirts for the charity and our aim is to bring everyone together for the cause.

Football has the power to do so much good. This forthcoming weekend the charity Stonewall will be promoting its Rainbow Laces campaign to bring LGBT issues in football back to the fore. It’s another simple idea that catches the eye and delivers a powerful message.

The corner flags at Forest Green Rovers will be rainbow coloured, as will the captain armbands. Many players will be sporting the laces in a show of solidarity to support lesbian, gay, bi and trans-gender fans, players and staff across the game.

It’s important to continue to challenge archaic attitudes both inside football and within the wider society, and this campaign is a terrific example of how you can harness the game to do that. Maybe one day a player will feel safe enough to come out because let’s face it, there must be dozens that are too afraid at the moment to do so in the professional environment.

Saturday promises to be a memorable day as a thousand Cheltenham fans make the trip to Nailsworth for the county’s first league derby. Make sure you leave yourselves enough time to get up the hill and enter the ground. Let’s put on a real show down there and show them what it means to support a proper football club.

Gloucestershire is red (and blue on December 9).

Blue Alexandra: Trust turn the Robins blue for one day only

For the first time in their history, Cheltenham Town are turning blue – but don’t worry, it’s all for a great cause.

The Robins will wear a one-off blue strip for the next month’s match against Crewe Alexandra to raise awareness of the British Lung Foundation, the only UK charity looking after the nation’s lungs.

The idea is the brainchild of the Robins Trust, who have worked closely both with the club and the charity in creating a event to put on a show of togetherness for the club’s fitness coach Ian Hutton and his fiancee Vicky Veness.

Vicky was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer earlier this year.

The 30-year-old personal trainer, runner, non smoker and healthy eater received the shock diagnosis despite looking perfectly fit and healthy and has set out to challenge preconceptions about the illness.

We wanted to play our part, and we hope that turning blue for one match only we’ll be able to create more awareness of this important cause and raise vital funding in the process.

We want the community to come together and get behind this idea in blue from the stands, the colour of the charity’s branding.

Murry Toms, Fan Elected Director said: “The important thing about football is that it is not just about football, and this is a great way to show some support with Ian and Vicky at a difficult time.

“This is a simple idea to use the community around the club as a force for good and drive a greater understanding of this disease.

“It affects 85,000 people a year, as well as those closest to them, and at the moment that unfortunately includes two of our own and we want to help in what little way we can.”

Chairman Paul Baker said: “We are delighted as a club to come together as one to show our support for the British Lung Foundation and, of course, our coach Ian Hutton and his fiancée Vicky.

“We hope the move from our traditional colours to a striking new one-off blue kit, the colour of the charity, will give a very visual show of support and raise both awareness and vital funds for this important cause.”

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November also marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

There are 85,000 people living in the UK that have received a lung cancer diagnosis including people living with the condition, those in remission and those who have been cured.

The British Lung Foundation has been researching lung conditions for 30 years and their main aim is always to improve care – and to prevent, treat and cure lung diseases.

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Cheltenham Town for organising this fantastic event to join the fight against lung disease.

“Every week, around 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with a lung condition. This means every week, a family member, loved one or friend, will also hear that someone they care for has a serious lung condition.

“It’s thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of people like The Robins that we are able to continue our vital work, researching new treatments and supporting people living with lung disease across the UK.”

How supporters can get involved

Our aim is to drive awareness of the work done by the British Lung Foundation, and raise vital funds.

In the coming weeks we will be helping the charity to raise awareness of the illnessby working closely with the club to use all of the channels available to us.

We will ask supporters to go against their instincts and wear blue at the game, bringing red balloons to show solidarity.

There will also be a bucket collection, plus a Robins Trust party in the bar before the game.

The ‘Blue Christmas’ fans fest will feature local legend DJ Shippers in the bar to build the atmosphere before the game and we’ll release more details soon.

Afterwards the Trust will auction one of the match-worn shirts in the bar, and everyone is invited to come along and take part.

The remainder of the squad’s shirts will be auctioned online to raise more money for the charity and we will be releasing more details in the weeks to come.

• Supporters can donate £3 to the British Lung Foundation by simply texting CTFC17 £3 to 70070, and every penny will go directly to the charity. It’s open now and will remain so until after the game on December 9. We can make a difference today.

Maidstone United programme notes: 1985 and all that

It’s been another busy week at the Robins Trust, wrote Dave Jennings in our programme notes for the FA Cup first round match against Maidstone United.

Firstly we’re delighted to announce The Kemble Brewery, the popular matchday venue in Fairview Street for Cheltenham fans, as an official Trust partner.

Our members can now not only enjoy the menu in a friendly atmosphere but take advantage of an exclusive 20% discount on all food purchases by showing their membership card.

Food is served Tuesday to Sunday each week and dishes vary from pizzas to Sunday roasts.

For opening times please visit www.thekemblebrewerycheltenham.co.uk and follow them on Facebook for news of events and special occasions. We thank everyone at The Kemble for supporting the Trust with this excellent offer!

In other news, we held our first ever ‘Saturday Surgery’ before today’s match. The new idea has been created to allow supporters a regular opportunity to approach members of the organisation to discuss any Club or Trust related issues that they may have, enabling us to represent them.

You may have seen Acting Chairman Tarran Wilson and new board member Jack O’Neill located in the main bar chatting to fans.

Other members of the Trust, including the Fan Elected Director, will always be dotted around the ground and are always happy to discuss any supporter matters.

Finally you may have also seen that Robins Trust members will receive ticket priority for November’s historic first Football League Gloucestershire derby.

November’s ‘El Glosico’ clash with Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn will see a large travelling contingent of Robins heading to Nailsworth.

With tickets likely to be in high demand, the Trust have, once again, secured ticket priority, ahead of general sale tickets.

Robins Trust members will then have a priority window running between Thursday, November 9 and kick off in the League Two home match with Luton Town on November 11.

If you’re not already a member, then you have until midnight on Wednesday to join up and ensure second tier priority.

Back to matters on the pitch and today’s match evokes memories for supporters of a certain vintage of the 2-1 win against today’s opposition on August 24, 1985.

Madonna was In to the Groove at no.1 in the UK charts, Dirty Den an Angie were pulling pints in the Queen Vic and Everton were the current Champions of English football.

John Murphy’s men were Champions of the Southern League and had taken their place among the elite of the non-league, taking on the Stones in their first ever National League (Gola League) match.

Whaddon Road was the venue and there was over 1,000 spectators (a rare occurrence in the 80s), winning thanks to goals by midfield maestros Steve Brooks and Brian Hughes.

The victory set us up for a tough but enjoyable first season at that level and we eventually finished 11th in the league – won that season by Enfield.

First ‘Saturday Surgery’ this weekend before cup match


The Robins Trust will be holding a regular ‘Saturday Surgery’ before each home match.

The new idea has been created to allow supporters  to approach members of the organisation to discuss any Club or Trust related issues that they may have, enabling us to represent them.

There will also be an opportunity to purchase a 50/50 draw ticket and join the Trust, now reduced to just £5 annually following last month’s AGM.

Our first surgery is this weekend (November 4), ahead of the FA Cup first round match against Maidstone United at Whaddon Road.

You’ll find Acting Chairman Tarran Wilson and new board member Jack O’Neill located in the main bar between 1pm and 2.30pm.

Other members of the Trust, including the Fan Elected Director, will be dotted around the ground and will be happy to discuss any supporter matters.

Come and say hello!

Trust members receive ticket priority for Forest Green Rovers match

Robins Trust members will receive ticket priority for November’s historic first Football League Gloucestershire derby.

November’s ‘El Glosico’ clash with Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn will see a large travelling contingent of Robins heading to Nailsworth.

With tickets likely to be in high demand, the Trust have, once again, secured ticket priority, ahead of general sale tickets.

Tickets will go on sale to season ticket holders, club staff and away travel club members on October 31 through to November 7.

Robins Trust members will then have a priority window running between Thursday, November 9 and kick off in the League Two home match with Luton Town on November 11.

Trust chairman Tarran Wilson said: “Once again, Trust fan elected director Murry Toms acted quickly to secure this benefit for Trust members.

“While season ticket holders and regular away supporters are, of course, deserving of advance priority, it’s great that Trust members are given this added benefit.

Trust membership is now just £5 for adult members and we already have guaranteed ticket priority for any future big Cup ties for all members.

“We are all looking forward to the first Gloucestershire Football League derby and I’m sure that tickets will sell out in the away end.

“Anyone who wants to join the Trust can do so on our website www.robinstrust.org or by visiting our new Trust Surgery on home match days in the main bar.”

You must be signed up as a Robins Trust member by Wednesday, November 8 (11.59pm) to be eligible for second tier priority ticketing.

TICKET WINDOWS FOR GAME AT FOREST GREEN ROVERS 

Priority 1
Season ticket holders and Travel Club members (and matchday staff)
Tuesday 31 October to Tuesday 7 November (includes the home game v Maidstone United.)

Priority 2
Robins Trust, 500 Club and shareholders
Thursday 9 November to 3pm on Saturday 11 November (i.e. up to kick-off in Luton Town game.)

Priority 3
General sale
Saturday 11 November (immediately after the Luton Town game.)