Bring­ing the older sup­port­ers back

Wishaw Press - - SCHOOL NEWS -

Mother­well FC Com­mu­nity Trust of­fers a Foot­ball Mem­o­ries pro­gramme and walk­ing foot­ball as a means of con­nect­ing to the older gen­er­a­tion of sup­port­ers.

Gen­eral man­ager Dawn Mid­dle­ton is con­scious that she doesn’t just want to pay lip-ser­vice to help­ing older mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and says there are fur­ther projects in the pipe­line.

Dawn said:“One of our trus­tees, Kevin O’Neill, is a part­ner­ship man­ager with NHS La­nark­shire, who said one of the big­gest im­pacts on health over the next 20 years is go­ing to be so­cial iso­la­tion, so we need to look at that.

“Kevin has prob­a­bly forgotten he said that, it was 18 months ago, but that im­pacts on every­thing we do now.

“We’ve just re­ceived fund­ing from the Robertson Trust and we’re about to go to press with an ad­vert for a de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer that will look at older peo­ple’s pro­grammes.

“The easy hits are the young peo­ple – you could put a soccer cen­tre on any day of the week and it would be booked out the door, but what do we do for the older mem­bers of so­ci­ety?

“We do walk­ing foot­ball. We’ve just en­tered a team into the over-50s walk­ing foot­ball league at Raven­scraig, they’re play­ing in the Scot­tish Cup in a cou­ple of weeks, which is fan­tas­tic, be­cause for a lot of these guys their dream has been to pull on a claret and am­ber shirt and we’re now giv­ing them that op­por­tu­nity.

“We have that on a Mon­day and it’s so pop­u­lar that we’re about to start a sec­ond ses­sion on a Wed­nes­day evening at 8.30pm, to get more along and say‘come and rep­re­sent Mother­well’.

“The club and the Com­mu­nity Trust is a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Foot­ball for De­vel­op­ment Net­work, the EFDN, so we can now send a team of these g gen­tle­men to rep­re­sent Mother­well at the Euro­pean Masters tour­na­ment, against the likes of Feyeno­ord and Barcelona.

“We also have a Sport­ing Mem­o­ries group, and we have a group with not just mem­ory is­sues but older peo­ple who want to work.

“We had a fan­tas­tic ses­sion in the lead-up to the Scot­tish Cup fi­nal where they shared rem­i­nisces of the 1952 cup fi­nal, the 1991 cup fi­nal, and that was a great ses­sion with over 30 peo­ple in the Cen­te­nary Suite talk­ing about it all. That’s a fan­tas­tic pro­gramme, it mat­ters to our peo­ple that we can do things like that.”

Dawn added:“It struck me when I worked with Greenock Mor­ton in the past, when they said that on a Satur­day the ship­yard work­ers went to Cap­pielow, that’s what they did on a Satur­day.

“It came to me that Mother­well is in the same po­si­tion, be­cause this is where the steel­work­ers went on a Satur­day, but those steel­work­ers are re­tired, per­haps, they maybe don’t have a job, so they don’t have the where­withal to do what they al­ways did.

“We’re look­ing at a project called‘Steel Game’where older cit­i­zens can come along to games. We’ll give them a pie at half-time and we won’t charge. That will be part of our job, to get them to games, take them back to what was good, give them that out­ing, some­thing pos­i­tive that takes them back to where they were.

“Fi­nan­cial con­straints should never be an is­sue at a com­mu­nity club like Mother­well. And the club is fan­tas­tic – they give me a huge num­ber of tick­ets for home games, to en­able me to do my job prop­erly and bring these peo­ple to Fir Park.

“I think that’s crit­i­cal for this club, be­cause they are al­most‘forgotten p peo­ple’, but it’s so easy to do.”

Sweet mem­o­ries Fans love to rem­i­nisce about the 1991 Scot­tish Cup win

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