This is the first of what I hope will be a regular contribution to the Supporters Association’s website. Essentially it’s designed to compliment the articles which I routinely submit to the match-day programme, – and to get the SA’s message across.
As it is the first time that I have written for the site, I thought it pertinent that I reproduce for you an extract which was printed in the programme on September 6th, when we played Burton Albion.
Supporters Association – Membership
I was pleased to read a thread on a popular website forum devoted to Stevenage Borough the other week. It was based on the subject of the SA and its membership. Some of the points raised were well thought through, and challenged the notion as to the value of the Supporters Association.
I would say that there is no single answer to that question.
What is the incentive to join?
One contributor said that he used to be a member, because he felt that it was his way of somehow being “connected” with the club. He said that the membership card was evidence of his loyalty, and felt that his annual membership subscription contributed toward something tangible at the club. He then went on to say that in recent years he declined to renew his membership because, sadly, he had become disillusioned and that his views had since changed.
Another contributor suggested that all the annual subscription did was to buy you a discount card for purchases in the club shop, and selected retailers in the town.
I confess that when I read these articles, I was troubled. Troubled by the fact that perhaps we’re in danger of forgetting why the Supporters Association was founded in the first place.
So, let me tell you why I am a member of the SA.
First and foremost, I am a supporter. My roots with football in the town run deep.
I helped my dad sell Pools Promotion tickets for Stevenage Town back in the 1960’s. With Stevenage Athletic I was involved in a Junior Supporter’s Club. I can remember having the likes of Drew Noble, Jonny Harley, Jack Parks, Micky Williams, Geoff Herd, Micky Hunter, and Mike Hennigan, all lodging in our house in the Old Town – this was when the club was first set up in 1968.
Then, the Boro came along.
Never let it be forgotten that it was the football supporters of the town which started this club off in the first place.
How does one pay tribute to that?
I do it by being a member of the SA.
Ask yourself this question: Are you a supporter of Stevenage Borough FC, – or are you just a customer who pays your money at the turnstile in order to be entertained?
Supporters ARE the life-blood of a club.
Like many others who attended the recent game against Crawley, I was disappointed that only about 1500 people turned up to see the match. Where were the other 26,000 who came to see the same club at Wembley some 18 months previous?
Perhaps that’s the difference between a customer, a fan, – and a Supporter….
Lloyd Briscoe – SA Chairman