You can receive great publicity and create priceless goodwill by sponsoring a local sports team – but that idea hadn’t even entered our thought process, until we had already agreed a partnership with Hertford Heath FC. At the time we felt it was simply the chance to get our ‘old’ bodies and willing minds back onto the football pitch.
For us, the choice of who to sponsor was quite simple – a local football team. After having spent the best part of 25 years (that’s right 25 years!!!) toiling away for different local sides we felt compelled to give something back to a sport that had so richly given us so much!
We have been fortunate enough to win many trophies and play for some great teams but the one memory we will take with us and cherish the most is the life long friendships that are born out of being involved in a team sport.
While your memories of individual games fade, the good times remain. Whether it’s putting the nets up on a freezing, wet or windy Saturday and Sunday only for the game to be called off, or chip butties and a pint down the pub after a well deserved win or hugely unlucky loss, or a team mates somewhat exaggerated explanation of how they danced through the defence like Lionel Messi (truth be told it was more like stumbling past people frantically trying to keep the ball under control).
As you get towards the end of your ‘career’ you realise that the trophies or important games you may or may not have won are not actually that important. It’s the good times with good friends that matter the most. Memories that are still recounted when you bump into each other 5,10 or 20 years later!
That is why we jumped at the chance to be involved with Hertford Heath. A team dedicated to developing and encouraging young men into senior football and the challenges they can face. An idea at the beginning of our playing days that was as far fetched as players wearing orange/pink/green/yellow/blue/white/purple/red boots (For any youngsters reading this there were only black boots for sale back then – that’s right, black boots… the only colour you can’t buy nowadays!). We entered senior football and found out the hard way what tackling really meant!
It will be a great and exciting challenge to see younger players develop in the physical world of senior football, but one we welcome with open arms, for many of them they won’t yet realise that like most things in life, enjoyment comes from doing good things with good friends and if any of the Hertford Heath players take that away with them then maybe we have done something right.
Here’s to a long, wet, cold, rainy, windy but most of all enjoyable season. COYH.