Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Homecoming Party...

After a break of a few days, time to catch up on Saturday's events at the Exacta, when Chester FC staged the Homecoming Party, and what a day that turned out to be - under gorgeous blue skies!

Get in there!
The day started with a photoshoot at 12noon, so straight to the Exacta to get there in time for the shot, and upon arrival many fans already waiting for the gates, and also the club shop to open, no doubt to snap up the Champions t-shirts that had been specially printed for the occasion.

Going inside the ground, and seeing the players, it was clear to see they'd had a big night out on the town as they were all hungover!

But fair play to them they then got changed, and were in their kit in no time and were getting ready to meet the fans for the celebration.

Then wondered outside with a a pint to soak up the celebratory atmosphere, and caught up with Shane from Dee 106.3, and Cleggy who were running the afternoon for us.

Looking a bit posh
The photoshoot took place before the gates were opened, and we had a good laugh on that one, and the board were invited to sit down on the seats with the squad being both behind and in front of us, and I was sat directly in front of Powelly and Chris Simm, so had to hope that nothing untowards was going on behind me, I didn't want a warm shoulder or neck!

Once that was done with the players headed back inside, and then the fans were all admitted and how fantastic to see over 1000 coming in to join in with the celebrations, it was such a good feeling, and thoughts were why didn't the club do this when the Conference was won in 2004? - It was an easy thing to do but it goes so far to reward the fans.

I then went to see the players at 12.50 just before they were due to come out at 1pm, and the funniest scene of the whole weekend greeted me when I entered the changing room, it was like a library, with all the players just sat there hunched over, hungover, and no music blasting out - I told them this was the quietest I'd seen them before going out on to the Exacta pitch!

Then back outside, and time to join Cleggy as he introduced the players one by one, and they all deserved the recognition they received from the fans - they were our champions after all!

Once they'd all got out on to the pitch it was time to take them round for their lap of honour with the trophy and it was great to see the players have so many photo opportunities with the fans.

After the lap of honour was complete, it was time for Shane & Cleggy to get going on the mike, and they did a great job, speaking to various people - I didn't really want to speak as my voice has been heard enough this season in other places, but Cleggy insisted, so a nervous speech in front of the Exacta Stand - I'd not been that nervous through all the other interviews I'd done!

This time he doesn't miss!
Then once I'd done that, I thought it would be a great idea if Wildey could have a chance to put that penalty miss out of his mind by taking one against Big Lupus, so I approached Wildey, who was a bit reluctant as his leg was killing but I managed to talk him round, and away we went - we would have gone to the home end, but the speakers were there, so off to the old away end for the pen, and Chester's number 10 made no mistake!

Once that was all done it was then time to mingle with the fans, whilst the players then signed autographs and spoke to the fans, and I took the opportunity to speak to Rich Wightmans mum, who wanted a photo of the board with her, so I suggested we stand in the Harry Mac next to Richie's flag, and that was a nice moment for all concerned.

After everyone had left the pitch there was still some work to do, as I'd arranged for ESPN Brazil to come down to the Exacta - they'd got in touch on Thursday about doing a piece on the ground, with the England-Wales border the subject, so I'd invited them down in the hope that they'd be joining in with a promotion celebration, but sadly their plan had been delayed, so they didn't turn up until everyone had pretty much left, but I still did the interview with them - with the trophy in my arms!

Never did I think that I'd ever be doing an interview for a Brazilian football channel, but hey this season has been amazing with various worldwide interest, I received a Congratulations e-mail from a French TV channel who'd done a feature earlier on in the season, and also this season we've had a Norweigan, Danish, and Middle East (Al Jazeera) tv crew with us - have to see who we can get next year!

That'll do for now, as it's nearly 7am, so time to get ready for work!

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