Over the next few home matches we will be welcoming various members of the community to the Vale.
On Saturday we are hosting our friends from the Harrow Stones Stars and holding a Mencap awareness day and at our following home match against Canvey Island on 3 October we will be holding a cancer awareness day, with as I understand it members of various cancer charities present including from the Bobby Moore fund. We will also take that opportunity to remember our former player Jomo Faal-Thomas.
I want to thank Dominic Whyley and Barry O’Sullivan who have been instrumental in getting these days organised. I have said many times that it is very important for us to truly be a community club, and this means thinking of others less fortunate than us at times.
As well as thinking of others we also must consider our own, and in that spirit we will also be doing something for Steve Hughes when we have the next free Saturday home game (likely to be against Margate in the FA Trophy).
Steve was struck by a bad injury which ruled him out of much of last season. Having worked hard to get back during pre-season he broke down again when sustaining a cruciate ligament tear, remarkably in his other knee in the pre-season game at Beaconsfield. This was a bitter blow to Steve, who I know, felt as fit as he had ever been when he started playing again, and coming immediately after the previous injury this was a bitter blow.
Wisely Steve got a scan immediately, and once the bad news was confirmed he decided to get reconstructive surgery and this took place at the beginning of this month. The operation was successful and the surgeon is confident that Steve’s knee will be strong following intense rehab within 6-8 months. What this means, of course, is that Steve’s season was over before it started.
Many of you will have seen Steve regularly watching the team during the period of his last injury. He is very popular at our club and I know he is committed to coming back and scoring lots of goals for us in the future, and his determination to once again battle back to full fitness speaks volumes for his character.
Financially though this is a tough break for Steve, who has a big bill to pay for his medical expenses and is, I believe, currently out of work. Therefore we will be holding a collection on behalf of Steve, I know from the reaction of some of the Directors to this story that it will be well supported.
Most regular supporters will be used to Peter Worby shaking a bucket at them at the end of a home game, particularly if we win. Most of you give generously. over the next few home games you will again be asked to give generously but not for the football club, but for people who need our help. I know we will all dig deep and do what we can to help.