Saturday 23 May

We hope that this finds you and your family well as we look forward to some warm and sunny weather over this Bank Holiday weekend.  Please keep to the rules to help us come through this pandemic and find better times.

We have two main items this week – both of which we hope you enjoy reading.  First, Kim recounts the events of two weeks ago put on by our fantastic Saints Community Project to celebrate VE Day 75.  Then read the thoughts of one James Armson who has a message for supporters that will raise a few laughs at the expense of team-mates and … yes, Jimmy, we remember your spot-kick this season against Spennymoor!

First, VE Day in Brackley.  The Saints Community Project was established here at Brackley Town FC in September 2015.  It is a group set up to help and support the elderly and vulnerable in our local community.  Since it was established it has gone from strength to strength and regularly sees over 90 attendees each week.  Covid-19 has meant that the people who attend each week for company, friendship and to help combat isolation can now feel very much isolated. 

The last meeting was on the March 8th and since then Kim has rallied the troops and supported our members in the community two days a week.  With the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May the project decided to hold a virtual tea party at 3pm that day. It gave the group a purpose and sense of occasion.  The eight weeks of lock-down have felt very long, especially for those who live alone and for many who don’t have family locally. 

Amazingly eight Saints Community Project volunteers came together on that Friday morning to make, construct and deliver over 100 afternoon tea trays to the members!  This was a brilliant team effort.  It was a hive of activity as the food was prepared and distributed around the town in a short space of time - a logistical challenge that proved team work does make the dreams work!  A huge thank you must go to the volunteers for their selfless effort with this vision. 

Kim says, “It was so lovely to see the smiling faces and a few tears as the teas arrived.  It lifted everyone’s spirits and although we can’t be together and probably won’t for quite a few more weeks, we know we will meet again and look forward to that day.”

Everyone at the club is proud of the work of the Project.  Well done Kim and all the helpers.  Thank you.  There is a short video of the celebrations Kim has outlined here – look out for it on social media.

This week we also hear from Jimmy Armson who sends this message to supporters:

“Hi all, I hope you and all of your families are keeping well during this time. 

Lockdown has been a challenging time for all of us as the nation adapts to "business as unusual". Despite some of the challenges lockdown has brought us (sanity being one of them - rumour has it, the gaffer has been telling his horses about how good he was at winning flick-ons).  There is a silver lining perhaps in that it has allowed many of us to spend a prolonged time with family and loved ones, time that ordinarily we wouldn't get. 

What has been nice is that the lads have still managed to stay in touch and I thought what would be nice is to share some of the accomplishments the lads have achieved. 

Home schooling 

Obviously as schools closed some of us have had to take up the role of teacher. I am delighted to say that Connor Franklin has now started to say a few words. Keep going Connor, everyone at Brackley Town is proud of you.

Lee as a result of home schooling has a new favourite book. The story of greed, hunger, a coma and what Lee described as a shocking twist at the end.  Ignore everyone Lee, the Hungry Caterpillar is a great starting point.

Fitness

As players we have a responsibility to try and stay as fit as possible during the off-season. One positive of not being able to go abroad has meant I have been able to keep relatively fit. ‘Not sure anyone has completed the "100 Burpee Challenge".

We have found out that Gaz can't actually run past 2.5km without a rest. It's a good job we didn't ask him to fetch Lee's penalty against Spennymoor... or mine this season now I think about it.

Glenn has been doing sprints daily, which has shown his beer drinking habits crossed with the restricted hours at his local Co-op have had a positive effect on him.

On a serious note, it has been nice to stay in touch with the lads from time to time and hear that they are all OK.  A lot of conversations with lads will have started this week with it being two years since "that day".  Reminiscing about Wembley, I still get goosebumps when Browny's penalty hits the net. It's a story that I'm certain the lads will "dine out on" for many years. 

On that note I would like to finish with - stay positive, stay in touch and make sure you all take care of yourselves.”

There will be plenty more news and stories to bring you as the weeks go by but for now, until next Saturday - stay safe, stay well.

BTFC Board