NAME IS ‘MATCH’ OF THE SEASON
BRADLEY Stoke Town FC have a new player this season with the perfect name – Bradley Stokes.
The 23-year-old, who graduated from UWE Bristol after studying business and marketing, is not originally from the city, of which Bradley Stoke is a suburb.
But it is not a coincidence he joined Bradley Stoke – he signed up purely because of the name.
On leaving university, the centrehalf, who works for HL Training Services, decided to find a football club for a hobby.
He said: “I knew there was an area called Bradley Stoke, so I Googled it to see if they had a football team because I thought that would be cool.”
There was – Bradley Stoke Town FC, who play in the Bristol and Dis- trict League Senior Division. Bradley called up the team and arranged to watch a reserve game before signing on. When he told the club secretary his name, though, he thought it was a joke.
Bradley said: “He asked to see my ID before filling in the signing-on forms.”
And there was more laughter when Bradley was introduced to his new teammates in the changing room. He said: “Most of them just started laughing at me, to be honest. They couldn’t believe it. I suppose it is a bit weird.”
But since then, Bradley has settled in nicely and says they have all been very welcoming.
Manager Jon Welsh, who also thought it was all a joke at first, said when he sent the scorers’ names into the league he was expecting them to flag it up, but no one had questioned it so far. He added: “Bradley is a great lad and has settled in very well on and off the field.”
Bradley is, of course, the first name on the teamsheet each week, whether he is playing or not.
Bradley says he has no regrets on joining the club of his name, and all the players have become his friends.
The season has gone well so far, with Bradley scoring five goals and the team sitting in fourth place.
He said: “I guess I am just in the right place at the right time.”
With a name like that, he most definitely is.
Most of the players just started laughing at me – they couldn’t
believe it BRADLEY STOKES
There was only one location in mind when Bradley Stokes waslooking for a club to play for