The voting forms are now out for the inaugural Bryan Jacob Cup – the new name for the Supporters Player of the Year Award.
As I am sure you are aware, Bryan’s legacy to the club and the supporters is huge. He played a pivotal part in forming the Robins Trust and was our first ever society secretary.
Bryan loved Cheltenham and his club, and was a regular visitor to the training ground during John Ward and Keith Downing’s spells as manager. He was also an ever-present on match days.
When he died in 2012, Bryan left his entire estate to the Robins Trust in his will and as such we have so much to thank him for.
That incredible gift of £200,000 saw the Trust achieve our goal of having a fan elected director, the role that I am honoured to have served in for the past year.
Without that incredible gesture, I would not be in the position I am in now, ensuring every supporter has a voice on the Cheltenham Town board of directors.
In my role, three questions always come into my head when balancing the difficult decisions.
- Am I doing the right thing for the Football Club
- Am I doing the right thing for the supporters?
- And, am I doing what Bryan would have wanted?
I am happy to say that this year, the answer to those three questions, would be yes!
The board’s intention was to use the £200,000 investment from the Trust as an overdraft facility for the club, to mitigate against cash flow issues. As such the money isn’t included in the budget for the season.
With the success we have had on and off the field, it has allowed the board to have some breathing space. It has ensured that we have been able to back Gary Johnson throughout the season.
If that money wasn’t there, there may well have been times when we would have been forced to turn down Gary’s requests to sign reinforcements for the squad.
I am proud that this money has meant that situation has never occurred and our dreams at the start of the season, look like they may become reality.
This season has been a team effort from everyone at the club. From the supporters and our wonderful volunteers, to the board, office staff, football staff, the manager and the players.
That team effort is what makes a club like ours click and I am sure that is what Bryan loved about his club.
I said earlier in the season that the pride in supporting the Robins again had been restored after the horrible season last year – and much of that is down to the efforts of the players.
This is a wonderful group of players, full of character, pride and ability. There can be no better year for the Supporters Player of the Year award to be renamed in Bryan’s honour.
There are so many deserving contenders for the award and whoever wins, will be hugely deserving of the title and be a fitting first winner of the Bryan Jacob Cup – Bryan would be proud of this side.