Reborn supporters club issue rallying cry: Let's help Ashford Town in a positive manner

Monday 07th August 2006

When something precious to you is damaged it makes you more resilient and stronger and makes you want to preserve something that you love, writes Stephen McCartney.

Ashford Town fans haven’t enjoyed their football over the course of the last two seasons, finishing third from bottom in the Ryman League first division and avoiding the drop into the Kent League on both occasions.

They’ve written about their discontent on internet fans’ forums, some have disowned their team, which has meant crowds have decreased.

But they got a “wake-up call” that things aren’t really that bad when they were hit by the “wanton destruction” of the club’s premises at The Homelands Stadium towards the end of last season.

And that resilience shown by Ashford Town fans, during their beloved club’s hour of need, was the catalyst for the re-birth of their supporters club.


With the Ryman League Division One South campaign kicking off on 19th August, with a trip to Kingstonian, and then a home game against their Kentish rivals Cray Wanderers (22nd August), this is the time to stop the bickering and get behind their club.

It’s time to bring the feel-good factor back to the club. The more people that flock through the turnstiles can only benefit the club and the team. Fans making negative comments on Internet forums deter potential fans from supporting the club.

Let’s make the 2006-07 season a good one for the Nuts & Bolts, and John Pease, the vice-chairman of the Supporters Club agrees.

“For the past two years there has been little or no interest in the Supporters Club,” he told

“When an A.G.M. was called no one turned up. No doubt interest would have taken off if the team had achieved promotion or reached the final of the FA Trophy, but this did not happen.

“Despite the best efforts of Steve Monk, Bob Norton and Tim Cozens with help from Pat Ames and June Burton, the general mood of apathy could not be broken and the supporters club was put to sleep.

“The wake up call came with the wanton destruction of the club premises towards the end of last season.

“This act made many of us determined to help the club in a positive manner and the best way to do this was to try and re-establish a strong supporters club.”

Mr Pease’s first step was to review the current membership. Although this had, at one time, exceeded 100, by the middle of June this year it stood at only 36.

He recalled: “Appropriate postings were made on the Ashford Town website and letters were sent to every past member.

“By mid-July this figure had risen to 55 and we knew that we were up and running once more.

“With the start of the pre-season friendlies at Homelands, and with considerable help from Peter Young, in the early part of July, we had an ad-hoc committee meeting and agreed to purchase certain item for the football club.

“In the final week of the month we passed to the club a cheque for £450 to purchase a new strimmer. We also passed them a cheque for £1,000 to purchase playing strips for two of the junior teams.

“As we moved into August membership stood at 81 and the A.G.M. was held on Saturday after our annual friendly game against Ashford (Middx).”

Steve Monk reviewed events of the past few months and Tim Cozens gave a report of the financial status of the club.

A re-vamped committee was elected and formed:

Chairman: Steve Monk

Vice chairman and membership secretary: John Pease

Treasurer: Tim Cozens

Committee members: Peter Young, Elaine Orsbourne, Brian Biddle, Doug Dumont, Sue Bird

But the posts of secretary and junior supporters secretary have yet to be filled but, hopefully, will be in place by the end of this month.

“An open discussion then took place regarding future plans for increasing funds,” Mr Pease said. “It was agreed that we should re-launch match day raffles as these have always proved popular and successful.

“It was further agreed that our next project should be to assist the Football Club in erecting new and better signs, giving match details, at the entrance to Homelands.

“Much remains to be done but we feel we are moving in the right direction. We still need more members and application forms can be down loaded from the Ashford Town FC website or collected from Peter Young or myself (John Pease) at the ground on match days. “

Membership immediately entitles a 10% discount at the club shop, on drinks in the bar, entrance to certain functions and on green fees at the adjacent golf club.

“The more members we have the more likelihood of getting further concessions,” added Mr Pease.

“Finally, everyone can contribute by bringing paper and bottles to the disposal banks at Homelands as this is a major source of income to both the supporters club (paper) and the Football Club (bottles).

“We are desperately in need of members to get a little more involved in helping the supporters club, anything from joining the committee and helping run it or selling scratch cards, making tea at half time or odd jobs around the stadium.

“Bob Morton, June, Pat and I are all four inches shorter than we used to be trying to do everything, so a little help would really be appreciated.”

Coming up at The Homelands:
The Homelands Stadium, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth, Ashford, Kent TN26 1NJ

Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Kick Off 7:45pm
Ryman League Division One South

Saturday 26th August2006
Kick Off 3:00pm
Ryman League Division One South

Visit Ashford Town’s Website: