During the 2017/2018 season the Co-operative are once again proud to contribute to the Stockport County matchday programme. You will also find the articles from the previous seasons below.
Below you will find the articles we’ve had published, in all their unedited glory. We have permission to publish these from the club and you can expect to find them on-line a day or two after the game has been played.
The articles are written, on a rota basis, amongst the Co-op Board members and contributing volunteers. If you feel you have a burning issue you would like to share, that meets the Co-op ethos, and is suitable for the matchday programme please feel free to contact us to offer your services.
20 March 2018 – Stockport County v Boston United:
I rattled on in the last programme about the innate good sense of County Supporters in general and Supporters Cooperative members in particular, and this week I want to add generosity to the qualities I see present in our fan base.
County Supporters know how to enjoy themselves and, on 24 February after the Brackley game , with spirits in need of reviving in the knowledge that a Tuesday night trip to face Town and `the Beast from the East’ at St James Park was on, the Supporters Cooperative held their popular `County Quiz’ at the Spinning Top.
Over 3 dozen made it for the appointed hour- 5.30pm, as Quiz Master Supreme , former Coop Board member Nick Lee, took to the microphone.
Eight teams were attracted this time around with `Coop Elite’ morphing into `Four Just Men’ and last times wooden spoonists `Des and Marie ‘ showing up as `Rock Bottom’.
Lee’s easy wit and cool delivery made for an excellent evening.
After several rounds of questions( and drinks breaks) the pecking order was finally decided with `Four Just Men’ finishing first with 39 points.
Behind the winners were:-
- `Four Go Mad on Mescaline’ 37
- ` Star Men’ 36
4=. `Blind Faith’
& `Danny Dyers Chocolate
- Mascots 32
- Unknown Warriors 29
- Rock Bottom 21
As usual landlord Mike Swann laid on some hot food that went down a treat, before attentions were switched to the auction for 3 items, the first two donated by Mike were a County shirt signed by the current County team and a limited edition County Black & White Scarf- these raised£40 and £35 respectively, and a signed match ball from the Cooperative fetched £25 , bringing the total raised to £100 in aid of Cancer Research UK.
At this point Mike took the stage to present the Supporters Cooperative with a second cheque covering the Spinning Top’s generous 10% donation from takings on County match nights. The cheque for£300 brought the season’s donations to the Guardian Account from the Spinning Top to £700- a magnificent gesture of support!
Put simply….this was quite the best `County Quiz’ this writer can recall- brilliant organisation and a fantastic atmosphere which was down in no small measure to organiser, and Coop Board Member Ed Keane, our Quiz Master Nick Lee who returned in triumph, and host Mike for his renowned hospitality and fine ales.
It was pleasing to note firstly how everyone present enjoyed the evening, and secondly how generous they were in supporting a very worthy cause.
This only carried on from the afternoon earlier when Supporters Cooperative members called in at the Cheadle End Cabin in numbers, donating a decent quantity of County shirts, shorts, t shirts, boots and scarves which were most welcome- thank you!
As always we will be in the cabin every County home game from 1.30 to 2.40.
10 March 2018 – Stockport County v Brackley Town:
Listening to members over the period of my involvement as a board member of the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative, has convinced me of the innate good sense that abounds in the average Stockport County supporter.
There have been many issues, some of greater import and enormity than others, that have afflicted our great Club over the years, particularly over the last decade when we have seen our membership of the Football League disappear in a welter of debt and recrimination.
During this period whilst debt has fluctuated, and Club board room regimes come and gone, some faster than others, the one constant has been the County fan base that, come thick and thin ( mainly thin it must be said) have continued to support the Club in numbers when and where it matters, whether it be by buying a season ticket to provide the Club with much needed funds , or equally vitally by turning up on a Saturday and Tuesday when County are playing home or away .
It has been the same with the Supporters Cooperative- our membership has stood solidly behind the Cooperative board giving it its full backing as we endeavoured to keep the supporters voice heard as we continue to navigate our way back to where we belong in the Football League.
Of course though there will always be disagreement along the way, a `democracy’ that operates without encouraging a diversity of opinion is really no democracy at all in my view.
I have rattled on over the years about the perceived virtues of democracy, and whilst I am not 100% sure that I can adequately define just what that term means in every day reality- I do know it makes perfect sense for working men and women and indeed folk of all ages employed or not to ensure that the organisations that exist and purport to operate in their name….do so.
For me…bringing it right down to basics, this means that members of the Supporters Cooperative should, if they are physically able to, attend and participate in the democratic process within that organisation, making sure by so doing that their interests are represented and that the organisation is kept squeaky clean.
So…the crunch….the inevitable hard sell……..today Saturday 10 March ,as previously advised, at 5 pm after the Brackley game in the Bungalow on Hardcastle Road, there will be a Supporters Cooperative Members Meeting.
There must be issues that concern you, so why not come along and play your part!
The same applies if you are not yet a member- do come along and observe how we transact our important business.
And…..of course, you can always catch up with a Supporters Cooperative board member on home match days, between 1.30 and 2.40 in the Cheadle End Cabin.
I look forward to meeting you later today.
24 February 2018 – Stockport County v Brackley Town (FA Trophy Quater Final):
The Supporters Cooperative met this week with Board members of the Stockport County Club, raising concerns on behalf of their members, amongst items raised were:-.
First off concerns were expressed about the possible return to Edgeley Park of Sale Sharks . The Club confirmed, they met SMBC and Sale Sharks confirming to both party’s that the Club were wholly opposed to any suggestion of a return to our stadium by the rugby club. The Club are looking at possibly purchasing Edgeley Park, and working with the Council on this matter, which would not preclude the Cooperative subsequently acquiring an equity stake.
The Club were asked about the current lease at EP, and they confirmed they had a sole tenancy agreement which has 15 years to run, and that a first draft of a proposed new lease agreement has been received.
With regard to non-County use of the pitch, the Club said that both filming adverts and outside pitch hire was a good source of income, making a big contribution to pitch maintenance costs. The club is instituting extensive work on the pitch in the coming close season.
New Investment / Finances
Asked about possible new investment, the Club confirmed that currently they are talking to 2 very substantial party’s. Negotiations with both are ongoing, and fairly well advanced.
The club currently has around £850k of liabilities on the balance sheet, and the Supporters Cooperative asked if the Club would write off these liabilities to attract a new investor? The answer came back that the Club have embarked recently on a transfer of existing debt to equity, which has reduced the existing debt and thus made the Club a more attractive proposition to potential investors. Debt to equity transfers will continue.
The Club indicated that it was working hard, with the Manager, to see a system in place in respect of the playing staff, that successfully sets us up as full time next season. By necessity this system will be tailored to ensure that our best part-timers, who do not want to go full time, are retained and play a full part..
The Cooperative then asked for a forecast profit / loss for 2017 – 18? The Clubs answer was that they were forecasting a `break even’ position for 2017/18.
Facilities at EP
In response to questions about the catering at Edgeley Park the Club confirmed that the service at EP was an ongoing focus of meetings between them and the caterers, and that the Club was aware of supporters concerns and will try to see that they are addressed.
Hatters Half Marathon
The Club confirmed agreement that the Hatters Half marathon on Sunday 2nd September could go ahead from Edgeley Park, and that match tickets would be provided for the volunteers this year.
Asked about how the Youth Policy is progressing, it was confirmed that the Youth Policy is currently working well and that a real pathway to the first team is now in place and beginning to show results. .
20 February 2018 – Stockport County v Nuneaton Town:
Sale Sharks and Edgeley Park- An Update.
The Stockport County Club have been expeditious in confirming that they are very much `on the case’ as far as any suggestion that County would be joined in residence at Edgeley Park by Sale Sharks.
Notwithstanding the above facts however, and in an attempt to support and underpin the Clubs position, as well as address the valid concerns of our members and Stockport County supporters generally, we have followed our recent statement on the matter, by taking further prompt action in an attempt to widen the support of our position of total opposition to the Sharks return to Edgeley Park, a move that in our view would be disastrous for the Club and its fans.
In this regard we felt, in view of the close relationship between Stockport County and the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, that urgent contact with the prime movers at the Council would be appropriate, and we therefore have contacted all the political leaders on the Council, the Council’s CEO, and Stockport MP Ann Coffey in an effort to enlist their support.
We very much value the views of all those we have contacted, and look forward to their responses in due course.
the Cooperative paid another ( long overdue) visit to Stockport homeless charity `The Wellspring’ to deliver some more donated items this week.
The response to our pre Xmas appeal for warm clothing for the charity received an amazing response from County supporters and we needed to make 2 separate deliveries, so plentiful were the donations( and so…so appropriate and welcome).
Inevitably some donations arrived late, and these are what we delivered this week, hats, scarves, gloves and lots of other items of warm clothing that will be put to good use in the cold night’s that are still with us.
A belated thank you therefore to all who donated whether pre Xmas or later- your support is greatly appreciated, and of vital importance in attending to the needs of the Stockport homeless!
As usual the Spinning Top continue to support the Cooperative and the Guardian Account in particular, and after today’s game v Nuneaton, County supporters will be able to sample County friendly landlord Mike Swann’s unique brand of hospitality and excellent ales.
The usual 10% donation to the Guardian Account from takings will apply, from 5 until 8.30 pm, so why not give the Spinning Top a try!
27 January 2018 – Stockport County v York City:
Seeing and hearing the group of young supporters , previously stylised as BC16, voicing their wholehearted support for Jim Gannon and his County team as County put Kidderminster Harriers to the sword at Edgeley Park, brought a warm glow on a cold night. The youngsters , now re-named ` Hatters Tifo- Active Support’ relocated for one game only , from the upper tiers of the Cheadle End to the Pop Side and what excellent support they gave the team.
They have been doing the same thing, home and away particularly well this season, and I am moved to again congratulate them for their magnificent efforts in the County cause!
They are an inspiration, and with County beginning to motor nicely, well placed near the play off places and in the last 16 of the FA Trophy, I wondered just what impact it would make if all County supporters made a concerted effort to up the decibels, home and away from now on in support of their team.
It just could make a real difference!
It is two years now since County appointed Jim Gannon for the third time, and County’s current board were congratulated at the time by the writer for making an appointment that was manifestly in the best interests of County, and their continued support for Jim draws my congrats again, as the board works closely with Jim to bring their meticulous plans to fruition.
We can see these plans paying dividends , at the sharp end, the first team is playing brilliantly in the Vanarama League- North , whilst the emergence of the highly rated young striker Szymon Czubik shows how well the youth policy is shaping up, with others likely to emerge after Szymon.
Jim , holder of a full UEFA Pro Licence, has worked wonders for County in the past, saving us from demotion from the Football League in 2005. The team were then bottom of League Two but rallied under `Jimbo’s’ charge to beat the drop on the last day of the season.
The following year, County established a League record of nine consecutive victories without conceding a goal, and in 2007-08 Gannon’s team finished fourth and won promotion with a 3-2 triumph over Rochdale in the play-off final at Wembley, only administration and redundancy stopped Jim taking us back to the then Championship, and we all know that he is just the man to do that again ( current win ration 50.6%)
I have heard it said that some clubs are just suited to one man…… Bournemouth to Eddie Howe, Rochdale to Keith Hill, Manchester United to Alex Ferguson…Jim is that exact fit ,in my view, for County.
Let’s give him and his team a boost and get behind them in what remains of the season.
Resolve to make today’s crunch York game the game to be louder…. and show County you care…make a difference!
06 January 2018 – Stockport County v Salford City:
The Stockport County Supporters Cooperative, would like to extend to all our members and Stockport County supporters generally, best wishes for the year ahead along with thanks for the terrific support that we have received from you in 2017.
The Club faces tough challenges as we again try to gain promotion.
In this respect it is reassuring to note that the Club has and is backing Manager Jim Gannon’s meticulous planning that currently sees his talented team in striking distance of the play off places.
The Cooperative is 100% behind the Manager’s efforts!
We also look for further progress off the field of play. In our view it is essential for the Club board to build on their good work in reducing debt and achieving a small but welcome profit. We know that they are looking for further investment into the Club , and we wish them well in that respect .
For ourselves , whilst new investment would be welcome, we hope that such will not be at the expense of the long term future of Edgeley Park. The stadium is currently owned by the Stockport Council, and we are anxious to open discussions with them , and the Club, on a number of issues including the future of Edgeley Park.
The Stockport County Supporters Co-operative launched the Guardian Account in January 2015, with a view to providing an asset for Co-op members, on behalf of Stockport County Football Club. The Guardian Account, could be key in safeguarding the future of EP in the interests of the supporters, and now stands at over £42,000. Therefore , looking to establish a clear objective for the Guardian Account, thus enabling us to be able to effectively market this Account, we asked our members a simple question at the AGM in November namely – “Do you support making the acquisition of an equity stake in Edgeley Park being the ‘preferred option’ for the Guardian Account”?
The answer was a resounding vote in favour of that action, thus in 2018 we will be trying to let that vote guide us as we move to discuss matters with the Club and hopefully the Stockport Council.
There are other issues facing us as we head off into 2018, but those we have outlined above stand out as being important to resolve as we progress towards getting County back in the Football League.
Stockport County Supporters Cooperative.
26 December – Stockport County v Alfreton Town:
Q& A with new Supporters Co-operative board member Matthew White.
Why did you stand for election onto the co-op board?
I didn’t stand for election, I was co-opted subsequent to the AGM. My co-option is time-limited so either I stand at the next election or I am off.
Why did you want to help out?
It is important that the Supporters Co-op thrives. It gives supporters an organised, collective voice. It is a very well set-up organisation, democratic and accountable to its members, though it seeks to represent the interests of all County fans. The board lost some very experienced people who stood down at the last election, and I thought it was my time to step up to the plate.
What has the Co-op ever done for me?
Quite a lot in my book. As a legally constituted organisation, we were able to receive the shares in return for money from the Player’s Fund through the work of Help the Hatters and Steve Gibbons among others. So the fans are actually a shareholder too. The Hatters Half Marathon is a fantastic event thanks to the inspiration and perspiration of Dave Marchbank and John Giles and a host of helpers. It has helped put the club back on the map in the community along with all the good work that the club and the Community Foundation do. This is so important because we are a community club and that is what sets us apart. The Guardian Account is another big step forwards, that will allow us to buy an asset, something tangible that will last and that the club and the community can benefit from.
What sort of relationship should the Co-op have with the club?
I think we need to be a critical friend. The club have some very able people running it. I mean we all know how good Steve Bellis is( cheque has been banked thanks Steve) , but they don’t always get it right and it is important that we can point that out and sometimes ask the difficult questions. We aren’t here to have an argument or be argumentative though. We are here to work together with the club to get County back to where it belongs. We want the best outcome for County. It is important that we contribute in any way we can, mobilising the fan base and driving the club forwards.
What are the biggest challenges the Co-op faces?
The biggest two for me are membership and volunteers. We have around 400 members, but that is still a small percentage of the fan base. I would love to see that over a thousand. We also need to get more fans involved. I appreciate that not everyone can, but it really is a case of the more shoulders to the wheel we have the more we can do. You don’t have to be on the Co-op board to help out.
Thanks to Matthew White (pictured below, second right) who answered our questions.
Stockport County Supporters Cooperative.
09 December – Stockport County v Spennymoor Town:
Yes, the Co-op are full of the festive spirit and are holding their Christmas Cavort at the Spinning Top tonight so please come down and support the event. Not only do 10% of all takings go towards the Guardian Account, there will also be a SCAN presentation.
Yes….we are absolutely delighted to confirm that, thanks to a unique cooperation between the Supporters Cooperative and SCAN, Les Bradd, Terry Park and John Rutter will be in the Spinning Top for the joint Coop Christmas Cavort/ SCAN Presentation Evening, as the popular SCAN event switches from its usual venue at the Bungalow.
The whole thing starts at 5.30 after County’s match with Spennymoor Town, so be sure to be there.
The SCAN presentations start at 6pm, hot food will be available and rumour has it that Santa will have mince pies with him. This will be a great night, and after the Cavort finishes you can stay on to see Ten Eyed Man – a really excellent band with a big reputation.
Entrance to the Spinning Top (next to the Garrick Theatre, on the A6) is free, and of course the beer is superb.
Today the Co-op will be collecting for the Wellspring at the cabin in the Cheadle End car park. On advice from the Wellspring, whilst food donations are very welcome , the more urgent over the winter period is for donations of warm clothing – preferably as indicated in the Rucksack Project details on the wellspring web site, but any donations of warm winter clothing would be greatly appreciated and sorely needed.
Details of the Rucksack Project can be accessed here….
For those of you who would like to contribute, we will also be accepting donations on Sunday 17 December, the day of the Stockport County Carol Concert, which starts at 3pm at Edgeley Park. The Cheadle End Cabin will again be open to receive donations from 2 pm until 4 pm.
The County family have been incredibly generous when we have held these appeals in the past for which we thank you.
To become a member of the Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative contact info@ countysupporterscoop.co.uk or call in at the cabin in the Cheadle End Car Park on match days between 1.30 and 2.30. Alternatively, join online at www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/join-us/
Enjoy the match today and let’s hope we take the three points!
22 November – Stockport County v Southport (FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round):
This week I give you an insight into those new faces taking their place on the Cooperatives board after that meeting.
First off we have Edward Keane- a County fan for 23 years who currently watches home games from the Pop side.
As a fan for almost a quarter of a century, Ed is conscious of the crucial part County plays in the lives of it’s fan base. “It is a source of entertainment and enjoyment, but much more than that truly a family, a social lifeline for many, providing friendship, support and advice. And that is without considering the huge positive impact a successful, community-oriented football club has on the marketability, economics and social cohesion of the town” Ed offered shortly after being elected.
Ed also believes that fans are the lifeblood of any football club. Without the fans there is no club, without the club there are no fans. Thus the involvement of the fans of Stockport County is crucial to the further redevelopment of the Club as it strives to return to the Football League.
As a co-opted member of the Co-op Board, over the past year, he has worked hard via the Events and Fund Raising Team to boost the Guardian Account, to help ensure the long-term success of our club.
The second newly elected board member is 38 year old Andy Plant, who has followed County since mid 80s when his dad David first took him to Edgeley Park.
An Electrical, Design and latterly Construction Engineer by trade, Andy has endeared himself to County fans by running the supporters coach` Peels on Wheels’ which regularly takes County supporters to away matches up and down the country.
Outside of County and Work, Plant enjoys Cricket, and supports the Cheadle club for whom he has played in the past.
Andy has previously worked alongside the Cooperative on several events, most notably the annual ` 5 a side Tournaments’ which he organised to distinction, and will be a great addition to the talent already on the board.
So too will the third new face on the board…. another Andy….Andy Burt
Andy, husband of the Cooperatives Independent Secretary Catherine Burt, is another long time County fan, who prides himself on having chosen County as his team to support when others he grew up with opted for ready made `success’ at clubs awash with cash.
Andy feels that whilst it is important to allow the Club Board freedom to run the Club , it is also important that the Supporters Cooperative represents its members and the supporters in its dealings with the board of the Club. In short Andy sees a close relationship between Club and its supporters as crucial to progress going forward.
It is clear that the new voices on the Cooperative board, will be a welcome influx of fresh ideas, and keep current board members on their toes- no bad thing!
18 November – Stockport County v Chorley:
It was the AGM of the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative on Thursday 9th, and a lively bunch of people with County’s best interest at heart gathered in the Bungalow Club to execute the Cooperatives business.
Chairman Peter Towey was in bullish mood addressing the gathering. Perhaps the fact that 13% more members were in the room than were in the corresponding event last year, had something to do with this, it certainly made for fulsome and interesting discourse.
Peter confirmed that the Cooperative‘s board had met regularly throughout the year, as had the thriving Events and Fund Raising sub committee. The new membership system was now working well, but membership was static, an area that needed to be addressed by the new board.
Income from events, including our major fund raiser the Hatters Half Marathon, was being well supplemented by funds raised via the Cheadle End Cabin, the Spinning Top, Beer Fest etc.
The meeting was informed that a County shareholders meeting was in the offing, and that the Cooperative will be invited to same. Regarding meetings with the Club, it was reported that these were taking place on a regular basis and the Cooperative were continuing to raise questions of importance to supporters with the Club.
The retiring Treasurer, Paul Charnock, confirmed a healthy set of accounts pointing to a balance of £42271 in the Guardian Account and a smaller but reasonably good balance in the General Account, which is used for the day to day running costs of the Cooperative.
John Giles took to the microphone next to present the Cooperative Boards proposal which was that the Guardian Account focus going forward should be on raising funds to ultimately obtain a stake in Edgeley Park on behalf of the members.
Following discussion, member Mike Davis moved `reference back’. This was seconded but defeated by vote on a show of hands.
Further discussion concluded with a vote that saw the Cooperative Board’s proposal approved.
The final business of the evening was the election of members to fill the board vacancies.
It was disappointing that insufficient nominations were received to ensure a contested election!
This meant that the following nominated members were confirmed as board members by the meeting….. Edward Keane, Andy Plant and Andy Burt.
The Chairman welcomed the new board members, and the meeting closed in a suitably convivial atmosphere. Ian Brown
04 November – Stockport County v FC United:
Looking for an Ideal Christmas Gift ?
Then look no further….as the Supporters Cooperative, in support of the Guardian Account, and SCAN,have made available to buy, a splendidly iconic Limited Edition Promotion Celebration Shirt, worn by Jim Fryatt, Matt Woods, Freddy Goodwin , Alex Young, and a host of County Legends , on the 50th anniversary of the launch of the original shirt.
The photo accompanying this article shows County Legend Freddie Goodwin showing the shirt off for us , the original of which he wore with such distinction 50 years ago. Freddie was a welcome visitor to the Cooperative’s Cheadle End Cabin before the last home game against Kidderminster Harriers!
And you can start placing your order NOW to ensure receipt for Xmas …and we will be taking orders in the Cheadle End Cabin- starting this Saturday before County’s game with Kidderminster Harriers ( 1.30 until 2.40)
This magnificent shirt, with its beautifully embroidered badge is in 100% polyester and available for
£38.50 ( + p&p).
All sizes are available between 18″( 1 to 2 yrs)and 4EX (50″) . Full Size Guide here…..
We should have an online option up and running shortly( watch out for an announcement).
Firstly, you can order via the Cheadle End Cabin on match days twixt 1.30 and 2.40 ( payment with order please).
If you also arrange to either pick up the shirt from the cabin, on 9 December before County’s home game with Spennymoor Town, or from Ian Brown at 100 Range Road, SK3 8EE….p&p is avoided!
If you cannot pick-up then , if you live in Stockport, we will drop the item off at your home address when available.
Or via email to email@example.com. Using this route you can pay direct to the Cooperative’s bank account at the Cooperative Bank( sort code 08 92 99/ a/c no- 65076668). Again if a pick up as above is arranged….p&p is avoided! This method also allows you to place the order and pay at the next upcoming County home game at the Cabin, arrange postal delivery, or drop off if you live in Stockport.
To ensure delivery in good time for Christmas we need to know the total orders for November 22, so …avoid disappointment and ORDER TODAY !
28 October – Stockport County v Kidderminster Harriers:
Welcome to Edgeley Park for today’s game v Kidderminster Harriers.
With the Harriers being just behind ourselves in the League another tough game is anticipated.
Guardian Account & Co-op AGM:
The Co-op have been busy as usual and recently held a members meeting on the 18th October as part of the consultation process looking into a focus for the Guardian Account money, with over £42,000 in the Account, its building into a significant amount of money and the hope is to conclude the consultation at Novembers AGM which is on Thursday 9th November at the Bungalow Club 7.30PM
Co-op Cabin & Memorabilia in support of the GA:
Many thanks to all the Supporters who both donate and buy memorabilia in the Cabin on the Cheadle End Car Park. Sales remain very buoyant and buying or donating items such as Shirts, Hats, Scarfs, Old Phots etc is a great way to support the GA.
Women at the game Saturday 4th November starting at the Alexandra Pub Northgate Road 12 until 2.40
There are many aspects to the Co-op Board’s work and we often have had support from Supporters Direct. One of S/D former employees Jacqui Forster who has assisted the Co-op with lots of advice and help, unfortunately left S/D through ill health. However Jacqui has since gone on to set up an initiative called `Women at the game’, with the aim to encourage more women to attend sporting events. The Co-ops Christine Robinson along with Caz Burt have worked to take this forward with the full backing of the Club and the launch will be on the 4th November for our home game with FC United.
The Afternoon will start by meeting at the Alexandra Pub on Northgate Road any time between 12noon and 2.40.
If you know of anyone who may be interested in attending the game in the company of likeminded females, why not encourage them to meet with Christine and Caz at the Alex who will ensure a very warm Co-op welcome.
The Spinning Top:
If you’re looking to spend some time with County Supporters after the game why not pop into The Spinning Top? There are Co-op Board members in the Top drinking in there after most home games and the Spinning Top donate a very generous 10% of their takings to the GA after games, up to the Live Music coming on. We also have Co-op membership forms behind the bar, so no excuse if you’re not already a member not to join.
Enjoy the game
Co-op Vice Chair
14 October – Stockport County v Blyth Spartons:
I thought I would put the spotlight on the Cooperative’s board , with some short pen pictures of those responsible for the running of Stockport County’s largest Supporters organisation.
Firstly we have the Coop’s well respected Chair Peter Towey . Peter , a former SMBC Councillor, a retired Emergency Planning Officer for Salford City Council, is well known to the wider County fan base and has steered a steady course for the board.
Vice Chair is Dave Marchbank, a prodigious worker directing actions of the extremely busy Events and Fund Raising Committee. Dave is employed as Lead Operator at a Pharmaceutical Company in Macclesfield.
A key element in the Cooperatives structure is the role of the Independent Secretary- the custodian of the rule book who ensures the board operates in the members’ interest and within the rules. This vital function is performed by Caz Burt who is well versed in the Cooperative movement being employed as PA to the Cooperative Council’s President and Secretary.
Christine Robinson meanwhile, holds a doctorate in Environmental Policy, lectures in Public Health at Manchester University, and does valuable work on a range of fronts for the board, taking time out to administer the influential County Supporters message board- Marionsboard.
Export Sales Manager John Giles needs no introduction having featured in this column many times in his highly successful role as Race Director of the Stockport Hatters Half Marathon. John’s inquiring mind keeps the board on its toes and his work, along with Dave Marchbank, has been fundamental in boosting the Guardian Account.
Another board member doing sterling work is Billy Byrne. Billy has been instrumental in setting up the new, on-line, membership system which is working so well, whilst holding the Cooperatives purse strings is Treasurer Paul Charnock. Paul has masses of `street cred’ and works extremely hard for the Cooperative.
Digital Communications Manager Damian Beaumont comes next and Damian ‘s input on membership and other matters has been first class since he joined the board , whilst Nick Lee joined the board to look after our younger members interests and has played a valuable roll along the way particularly as MC at our popular `Quiz Nights’.
Yours truly is the last full board member, and I look after media and communications, in which I have magnificent support from Technical Sales Manager Paul Thompson. Paul is an IT whiz , and has transformed the Cooperatives website into something to be proud of.
Paul was co-opted onto the board, as was Asset Manager Ed Keane who has been extremely active on the Events and Fundraising Committee.
That’s the line up then, and you can catch a board member every match day twixt 1.30 and 2.40 in the Cheadle End Cabin.
30 September – Stockport County v FC United (FA Cup Qualifying Round 3):
`Nobody said it would be easy’…..I am not sure quite who was the first to use that response, but for sure, and certainly as far as anyone contemplating involvement in running a football club is concerned, that man or woman had his/ her finger right on the button!
Anyone desirous of making even a rudimentary study of the recent history of Stockport County would, need to approach the subject with caution, and be absolutely sure of themselves when it came to public prognostications on the subject that came afterwards.
To be sure, that history is littered with errors and miscalculations, but equally certain is the fact that circa 2 maybe 3 years ago this changed for the better with a regime change behind the scenes at SK3 that brought in, at board level, people who basically were dyed in the wool County fans.
Since then things have changed for the better……the empty slogans, so loved by previous owners, were gone , replaced by a measured approach to getting the Club’s finances back on their feet again!
This considered approach ,by the current Club Board, following steady improvements year by year, finally resulted in the Club Accounts showing a small profit of £35k- an amazing turn around in such a short time.
The Supporters Cooperative, throughout this recent process, whilst holding a watching brief on the developing situation on behalf of its members and County Supporters in general, has been generally supportive of the Club Board’s efforts which we acknowledged early doors as being generally in the best interests of Club and Supporters.
The approach may not please everyone, and many are moved to express strong opinions seeking swift answers to what in reality are borderline intractable problems.
Why does the Club not invite investors in, some ask? Well I am sure , at least I hope ,that if a serious investor is out there and makes an approach to the Club, that the Club would be happy to speak with them , but all concerned with the Club now, including the Supporters Cooperative, are concerned to avoid a return to the rocky road we were on not so very long ago, that took us out of the Football League to where we are today.
Patience then…..as ever…is of the essence, and the avoidance of overreaction to a run of defeats on the park for County ,in my view is just as important….paramount even.
In James Gannon County have the ideal person to get things right on the field of play and ultimately get us out of our current division.
We just need to hold our nerve, and show some steel.
Welcome to Edgeley Park for this afternoon’s game against North Ferriby.
Last Saturday’s welcome win against Curzon will be a boost after the two very disappointing away defeats at York and Telford. After last season, when we had one of the best defensive records in the division, what has surprised supporters is the number of goals we have been conceding. Having said that I have every confidence in our Manager and every confidence that this will change.In every game I’ve seen, I’ve seen glimpses of what this team can achieve when it “clicks” and I’m certain that at the end of the season we will be in the play-offs (at least).
The Co-op are now in the middle of a very busy period, we’ve just had the 3rd annual Hatters Half Marathon and the money raised from this will push the Guardian Account to well over £40,000 (full details of the Guardian Account and an updated total can be found on our website). We also have our AGM coming up and the annual elections for the Co-op board, this year there are 4 vacancies on the board as for a variety of reasons 4 board members have decided to stand down, whilst this is disappointing news, it also gives the opportunity for some new faces to step forward and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of standing for election to do so. Speaking from personal experience I can say that I’ve found the last 4 years very interesting, we’ve seen the Co-op grow in membership to approx. 500, we have, thanks to the Players Fund, become shareholders in the club. We have regular monthly meetings with the club board where, despite what some people say, views are expressed quite strongly on both sides and of course we’ve launched the Guardian Account which has stated previously now stands at over £40,000. I won’t deny that there have been difficult times not least in some of the criticism that we, as a board, have received, I think people forget sometimes that all the Co-op Board members do this voluntarily, giving up their time to try to make things better for OUR club, but we have stood together as a board and come through those difficult times and no one can deny that the current Stockport County Supporters Co-operative is in a far better place now than it was when most of the current board took up their places 4 years ago.
Full details of the AGM and elections will be issued to Co-op members and can also be found by visiting our website, if anyone that is thinking of standing for election has any questions or concerns then please speak to or contact any of the current board who are more than happy to talk through the pros (and few cons) of being a Co-op Board member.
Thanks for reading and let’s hope we get another 3 points today and continue our good home form.
Over 300 runners lined up on Sunday 3 September for this year’s Hatters Half Marathon ,promoted by Stockport County Supporters Cooperative and supported by Stockport’s own Robinsons Brewery, before heading for the Trans Pennine Trail via the streets of Stockport.
The race has steadily built up a reputation in the 3 years of its existence and is now well established in the national race calendar.
Some decent runners were attracted this year, with last year’s winner Stockport Harrier James Scott- Buccleuch set to defend his crown, with Sheffield Hallam’s Steve Bayton, a 1.09 man , a clear danger to him claiming a repeat victory.
In the women’s race Sharon Johnstone looked well placed to claim the top prize again.
Started at 9.30am, the race was quickly into its stride, and it soon became apparent that Scott-Buccleuch had a fight on his hands as Bayton surged into an early lead. By half way his lead grew to a staggering 5 minutes over the Stockport Harrier who had a good gap on the third man , club mate Charlie Batho.
By the time he had made his way to the finish in Alexandra Park, Bayton had extended his lead to over 7 minutes on Scott-Buccleuch, as he crossed the line in 1.08.43 , smashing the course record by a sensational 6 minutes 53 seconds, with Scott Buccleuch second in 1.1752 and Batho third with a 1.22.23 clocking.
In the ladies race, Wilmslow Running Club’s Sharon Johnstone ran the perfect race – moderate start followed by steady build up and fast finish that saw her home in a decent 1.31.53 , ahead of Raquel Gutierrez-Abad ( 1.32.22)in second place, and Barnsley’s Gail Colville who was third in 1.39.05. Local Club Bramhall Runners meanwhile ,were delighted to cheer home their athlete Nicola Lloyd who clocked 1.39.42 in fourth.
Further back in the large field, Stockport County Supporters Cooperative member Des Greene was winning a battle of his own.
Des was raising money for the Cooperative’s Guardian Account , and whilst he was not expecting to trouble the leaders, he had a modest goal of his own , along with raising piles of money, namely to beat last year’s time of 2.26.
Des found the off road portion of the race a real challenge this year, especially the Northenden part, but he battled bravely on crossing the line in a very creditable 2.12.23in 249th spot, and expressed satisfaction at the race, and the Cooperative are very proud and grateful for his efforts.
Well, the season is back in full swing and so are the Co-op’s activities. Whilst normally a quieter time for fans, the summer has been very busy for the Co-op.
At the time of writing we are busy preparing for the Hatters Half-Marathon which will have been and gone by the time you read this. We couldn’t put on events like this without the help of the Marshalls, many of whom came from the County family, so thank you for your support.
During the past few months, the Co-op have been looking at plans for the Guardian Account. This now stands at almost £34000 , and we have been consulting with members about its focus. Our next meeting for co-op members will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday, 14 September at the Bungalow. We encourage all members to come along and help us decide on the focus.
The final decision on the Guardian Account will be taken at the Co-op’s AGM on 9 November at the Bungalow. If you are not a member already, you can join online or by visiting the cabin in the Cheadle End car park before every home game.
Another upcoming occasion will be the Women at the Game event on 4 November (FC United game). Women at the Game aims to provide support to women who want the chance to attend a football match in a supportive atmosphere. The Co-Op has been busy looking at ways to support access to the game for female fans who may have reservations about coming to a game alone and our first initiative is to help fans with the match day experience. Before the FC United game, Co-op board members Caz and Christine will be at The Alexandra public house on Northgate Road from 12.30pm onwards to welcome their fellow female fans, have a chat and a drink and walk up to the ground and sit together. If you have friends or relatives that would like take part, please encourage them to come along and enjoy the full match day experience.
Whilst on the subject of helping to grow our County family, the Co-Op is supporting the club’s new ticket initiative aimed at under privileged and junior supporters clubs with a donation of £300 .
Many of our fans’ first experience of County was through receiving free tickets when younger. If you would like to help develop our next generation, you can find out more about the Community Tickets Initiative on the website or by contacting Simon Dawson at the club.
Finally, huge congratulations to Dave Marchbank who raised over £1,500 for the Guardian Account by running the Ellesmere 10k in August. He came home in a very creditable around 1 hour 18 minutes.
A superb effort Dave, well done.
Almost a month into the season and things are speeding up for County and the Supporters Co-operative.
Tomorrow sees the third annual Hatters Half Marathon, starting here at EP at 09.30, running through Edgeley and along the River Mersey to Northenden and back. And there’s still time for you to get involved as a marshal, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details, or turn up on the day and make yourself known to us.
“What else are you up to and how can I get involved?” I hear you cry (nurse he’s hearing voices again). Well, we have The Quiz on Stockport at the Spinning Top on the A6 (next to the Garrick theatre) kicking off at 5:30pm on Sunday 24th September (the day after the North Ferriby home game).
We also have our Members meeting in the Bungalow Club next to the Railway End on Thursday 14th September 7:30pm where we’ll be inviting further discussion and input into what we should do with the Guardian Account (which will stand at over £40k after tomorrow’s race).
Not to mention we have Board Elections coming up in time for our AGM in November. Timetable for which will be announced shortly (if it hasn’t already). And we would love you to get involved. Whether it’s standing for election to the Board, joining in with fundraising and events, donating/buying items to/from the Cabin in the Car Park or eBay, or whether it’s simply giving ideas. Like a bicycle chain the Co-operative is only as strong as its weakest part, and anyone can get involved (man alive they let me in!). You don’t need any special skills or experience, just a willingness to get stuck in and dirty (at times, like when Board members cut back foliage from part of the Half-Marathon course the other week, literally). If this sounds like you, then apply in writing to… We’re particularly keen to hear from groups under-represented…. In all seriousness though it would be very pleasing to have more representation from all our amazing fellow fans, if you’re reading this thinking “there’s no one on the Board/Co-op who speaks for me and my mates”, then let us know. Or even better perhaps stand for election.
Details of all our events, how to get involved, and the election timetable can be found via all the usual channels (English, Bristol, Discovery, No.5, or ahem, social media, fan forums and websites, the Stockport Express, newsletters and of course our excellent website).
Enjoy the game.
Meeting with the SCFC Board
On Thursday 17 August the Co-op Board met with Steve Bellis, Jon Keighren and Life President Richard Hill as part of our regular meetings with the Directors of the Football Club.
A full report of the meeting can be found on our website http://www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/ Our thanks go to Steve, Jon and Richard for giving up their time to meet us.
A provisional date for the next meeting has been set for Thursday 28 September, this is to be confirmed. Members will be invited to submit questions a couple of weeks in advance of this date.
Hatters Half Marathon – more marshals needed!
Race day is nearly upon us! The Co-op would like to thank everyone who has volunteered to help marshal the event thus far but we still need more! If you are willing and able to help, please contact Race Director, John Giles at email@example.com Alternatively, there is a marshal briefing session after the Gainsborough Trinity on Sat 26th August, at 5pm in the Bungalow (Edgeley and Shaw Heath Labour Club). Feel free to come along.
It is always a very special day and we usually finish the day at the Alexandra Pub on Northgate Road for a well deserved pint (it is thirsty work watching people run past you, you know….!)
A special mention goes to our Guardian Account Hero, Des Greene who is taking part in the race and has been very busy training and fundraising. If you can support our Hero, please visit – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/scscGuardianAccount
Help for the Fundraising Team
On Sunday 24th September between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, we’re holding a quiz at The Spinning Top. Volunteers are needed to help check and mark answer-sheets.
Efforts in respect of selling items on eBay are going so well, that we now need to recruit others who are familiar with eBay, to help out.
And finally, we’re also looking for Members or Supporters with skills and experience in creative design and printing, to assist with a potentially lucrative fundraising venture we’re keen to get started.
Please would anyone who feels able to help with any of the above, email our Fundraising & Events Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Programme for sale
The Co-op have been contacted by a member who has for sale for £3 + postage costs the programme from the 1993/94 Division 2 Play-Off match between Burnley and Stockport County. If anyone is interested in buying this item, please e-mail email@example.com and we can put you in touch.
To become a member of the Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call in at the cabin in the Cheadle End Car Park on match days between 1.30 and 2.30. Alternatively, join online at www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/join-us/
Enjoy the match today and let’s hope we take the three points!
Well, a few games in to the new season and we have so much to look forward to over the next few months. But before I mention some of them, can I just give a massive shout out to Help the Hatters who once again have done sterling work over the close season, tidying, cleaning, painting, putting up new flags (which look amazing by the way) and all manner of jobs to get our beloved EP fit for the season ahead. Well done all, I think I speak for all the Co-op Board and its members when I pass on our eternal gratitude for all your hard work. Also, kudos to the Community Foundation whose work resulted in the Stockport County wining the Community Club of the Year 2017 Award.
I would also like to welcome County’s new sponsors, Pioneer Group. While we are pleased you are on board, you will forgive us if we shorten the new name and still refer to it as the Cheadle End. Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy being part of the County family.
So what’s on? Those of you who receive the Co-op newsletter will already have heard about the Stockport Quiz we are hosting to round off Stockport Beer Week on Sunday, 24 September at the Spinning Top. Of course, there is our Hatters Half Marathon on 4 September and usual shenanigans at the Spinning Top after the games where 10% is passed over to the Co-op Guardian Account easing our conscience over our alcohol consumption. Another great initiative that Mike at the Spinning Top has put in place is to stream radio commentary for our away games, so if you can’t make it there, you can still listen to the game in the company of other County fans.
Perhaps the most important event we have coming up in the next few months though is our annual general meeting.
So, look out for more information on this in the coming weeks.
Until then enjoy the football, and keeping cheering on the lads!
08 August – Stockport County v Curzon Ashton: A warm Edgeley Park welcome to all Hatters fans today, and to our visiting near neighbours from Curzon Ashton.
When this was being written, the new season has not yet started. By the time you read this, we will know how County performed against Spennymoor last Saturday. I hope we are off to a flying start!
Whatever the outcome was on Saturday, I think we can be optimistic about the coming season. We have, beyond serious dispute, the best manager in non-league football in Jim Gannon, and I’m confident that the signings he has made over the summer will hopefully put us into a position that we can, at long last, begin our climb-back to the Football League.
We can be equally optimistic about the future of the County Supporters Co-operative. The time is fast approaching for our flagship fundraising event, the Hatters Half half-marathon, due to be held on Sunday 3rd September. As well as raising funds for our Guardian Account, a lot of money is raised through sponsorship for charities.
Our nominated charity, The Wellspring, which provides support for homeless people in our town, have announced that they intend to enter 50 runners in the event. Through sponsorship, this should raise a considerable amount for what is a very worthy cause. Further information is available at: hattershalf.co.uk
We are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who can help on the day to make this event yet again a resounding success.
The Supporters’ Co-op remains committed to building the Guardian Account – a fund intended to help secure County’s future by the purchase of supporter-owned assets for the club. During this coming season we hope we will be able to announce further developments – we will keep our members informed and will be holding a members’ meeting in September to discuss (amongst other things) the best way forward for this project. Full details will be announced shortly.
As the Co-op grows from strength to strength, we would urge all County supporters to become part of the movement – that way you can make sure that you have your say in the future of our club. Details on how to join, and news of what the co-op is up to can be found on our website www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk.
Let’s hope it’s a great season on and off the pitch.
Animo et Fide!
Chairman. Stockport County Supporters’ Cooperative
This is the last scheduled match of 2016-17, but County supporters hope it is not the final game of our season! At the time of writing, the FA has not made a ruling on Darlington’s appeal against exclusion from the play-offs. Assuming that their appeal is unsuccessful, County need Salford to lose and ourselves to win, or Chorley to lose and County to win, scoring at least three goals. If Darlo get the all-clear then we need both Salford and Chorley to lose (and County winning and scoring 3+) to reach the play-offs.
Clearly a tall order, but it can be done. Let’s all (I exclude our friends from Gloucester here!) get behind the lads today and give them a true Edgeley Park style vocal backing.
If County do squeeze through, I think we will be regarded as the team the others need to beat, owing to our defensive strength.
Whatever the final outcome of this season, I think County fans will agree that our manager has done a superb job in transforming what was a very ramshackle outfit when he took over last season, into a side that is a serious contender for promotion – if not this year then next. All due praise to Mr. James P. Gannon! Stockport loves you more than you can know!
The supporters Co-op also strives to improve. Our nominated charity, The Wellspring, which provides support for homeless people in our town, have announced that they intend to enter 50 runners in our Hatters Half half-marathon in September. Through sponsorship, this should raise a considerable amount for what is a very worthy cause. The Hatters Half continues to grow. Further information is available at: hattershalf.co.uk
A central feature of the Co-op’s work is building the Guardian Account – a fund intended to help secure the club’s future by the purchase of supporter-owned assets for the club. The fund has already attracted a decent amount of money and the Co-op Board feels that now it’s time to consider its future focus. The Co-op are organising a meeting to hear members views tomorrow (Sunday) at 6.00ppm at the Spinning Top pub (next to Garrick Theatre) Wellington Road South. All County fans welcome.
Chairman. Stockport County Supporters’ Cooperative
I had the honour of writing the first programme piece of the season way back on 6 August, in which I focused on optimism and the relationship between the club and supporters.
I wrote that we can be more optimistic about the season than we have been in previous years, and to the delight of us all, we have had a fantastic season so far and with the race for the playoffs getting hotter, the next few weeks will add some of that tension, nervy moments, joy and excitement that we all love as part of the County family.
Jim’s players have given us something to cheer about this season but it’s not just been the on-field displays that have kept us happy. Behind the scenes the commercial side is doing very well and there is a much more stable feel to the club.
What continues to contribute to my unusually optimistic outlook is looking around Edgeley Park this season. It’s not uncommon to hear “It feels like County again” from some of the older fans and at the same time we seem to be growing our family with lots of new faces in the Cheadle End.
For the Co-op it has also been a great season to look back on. A successful half-marathon, some great fundraising events, sales at the cabin and superb support from The Spinning Top have helped the Guardian Account reach over £32000.
In December we held a successful AGM and election which saw Ed Keane join the board and today sees a recruitment day, so come along and speak to one of the board members or join us if you are not already a member.
Despite the great season we have enjoyed, December brought a lot of sadness with the tragic loss of one of our own. What gave great heart and comfort was the way the fans, directors, staff and players old and new came together as the County family to support and give generously. At the fundraising event at the Fingerpost, Steve Bellis remarked that this is what made us special, never a truer word spoken.
I use the word family a lot when I speak about County. Whenever I use it, a memory of a game at Shrewsbury pops into my head. Upon seeing a line of fans arriving off the train in search of a pint, Ian Lancashire leaned back, took a sip of his pint, smiled and declared loudly “The family’s all here.” Well Ian, the family is still all here and doing better than ever. Here’s to an exciting end of the season.
The player of the season award is also fast approaching. That is going to be a tough decision this time. Montrose has been immense but there is no denying the influence that Danny Lloyd has had. And then we have to consider Sam Minihan, without forgetting Smalley, Ross … as I say, a tough decision, a nice problem to have.
But, if you’re reading this you are probably expecting County Co-op news, so I shan’t disappoint. Today sees us launch our fantastic new membership cards. They are really smart and will look fab in your wallet. They will be sent to you on joining or renewing along with a share certificate. All members have one share in the Co-op and we are acknowledging that by providing certificates. If you would like a membership card before your renewal date drop us an email or write to our secretary and we will get one to you as soon as possible. Cards and certificates will be available to collect from our base in the Cheadle End cabin on match days, upon receiving notice before match day that you intend to collect.
Just because the season is almost over doesn’t mean that the work of the Co-op stops. Unlike MPs, Co-op board members don’t get a summer break. We will be continuing our hard work representing our members in our regular meetings with the Club and staging events throughout the summer to further grow the Guardian Account. Events already in the calendar include a County night at the Stockport Beer and Cider Festival held here at EP on 1 June and our flagship event, the Hatters Half Marathon that you will be hearing much more about over the coming weeks.
If you’re passing the Cheadle End, look out for our new banner on the railings and come and say Hi to us in the cabin. We would welcome your thoughts or, it would be nice to just have a chat about all things County. Join us in giving all our support to the manager and players over these next crucial games. Come on County, playoffs here we come!
County had just posted an emphatic victory in dispatching Curzon Ashton 3-1 at Edgeley Park, when a goodly number of the 3495 at the game, headed off to Stockport night spot the Spinning Top for the latest round of the Supporters Cooperative’s `County Quiz’, in support of the Guardian Account.
The early activity seemed to centre around getting a pint , but it was not long before genial Quizmaster, and Cooperative Board Member, Nick Lee called for order and signalled we were about to start.
Eight teams signed up, which was a really great response.
Early favourites Coop Elite drew booing from the other teams by preparing to make their victory bow before proceedings started. Yellowboard again fielded a team, `hedgies heroes’ were rumoured to have included altitude training in their preparation for the event , whilst the surprise entry came from top band `Mutha Luvin Chimps’ who took time out before their sound check to support the event.
The questions were set at a very reasonable level….hard…but not eye wateringly so, and the end result was an enjoyable experience and a tight run thing to decide the winners.
Here is how they finished….
- Coop Elite 98
- Yellowboard 96
- Mutha Luvin Chimps 94
- Hedgies Heroes 93
- We’re Only Here for the Beer 91
- #We Go Again 85
- Last Orders 79
- Who Are We? 77
So…`Coop Elite’ were finally able to make their victory bow.
Later, Supporters Coop Events Manager Dave Marchbank announced the event had raised circa £300 for the Guardian Account, helped by Spinning Top landlord Mike Swann extending the 10% donation beyond the 8pm cut off.
Saturday also saw the entries open for the 3rd Hatters Half Marathon, which is set to go from outside Edgeley Park on Sunday 3rd September at 9-30am.
Entries are priced at £18 (affiliated runners) and £20 (non affiliated runners) – this includes a medal and a free Stockport County ticket!
To enter, runners are asked to please visit www.hattershalf.co.uk and follow the link to the Run Britain website or go to the dedicated Facebook page – www.facebook.com/hattershalf/ and click on “Book Now”.
Last year 454 runners took part in a race which was won by James Scott-Buccleuch from Stockport Harriers in a time of 1hr 16mins 24 sec and Sharon Johnstone from Wilmslow Running Club in 1hr 28mins 17 sec.
Anyone taking part is sure to enjoy the experience as the race follows the River Mersey along the Trans Pennine Trail to Northenden, before forming a loop and returning to the finish in Alexandra Park in Edgeley.
Robinson’s Brewery have supported the race every year since the event started in 2015, and we are proud to confirm `Robbies’ as Premier Corporate Partner for the event once more!
Finally, the Supporters Cooperative will again be in the Cheadle End Cabin before today’s game with Tamworth, and all other home games, so why not come along and either buy or donate a shirt, hat, scarf etc to boost the Guardian Account
I’m sure by now you’ll have heard the good news regarding the continuation of live match day commentary next season. With the threat of Pure Radio closing down, it was a genuine worry that we would lose the coverage that is invaluable not only to County fans in the borough, but also to exiled County fans around the globe. It was, therefore, fantastic to hear the news that, as of the 2017/18 season, Imagine FM will be broadcasting full match commentary again.
We’re very fortunate, especially considering the level we find ourselves at, to have such great coverage across all mediums. From Jon Keighren’s fantastic work on the airwaves over the years, to the comprehensive Twitter updates by Sam Byrne and Gareth Evans, it’s never been easier to keep abreast of all things County. Dan Powell’s matchday highlights are up there with anything you’ll see in this league or indeed those above, and the club’s social media is better than ever. In addition to this (shameless plug approaching), each month myself and my cohorts Noel Keeper and Phil Back record the County Podcast, where we’re joined by a guest associated with the club to emulsion your wall of County news and views. Previous guests have included the likes of Mike Flynn and Jon Keighren along with a number of the current squad.
Onto today, now, and after this afternoon’s game with Curzon the Supporters’ Co-op are hosting another of our popular quiz nights. After January’s well-received visit to New Mills FC, we’re back at the Spinning Top on the A6, where landlord Mike Swann’s generosity ensures that every pint you sup after a game helps to benefit the Guardian Account.
Devised and hosted by myself, the quiz starts at 5.30pm, and is designed to test your general knowledge as much as your County knowledge, meaning there really is something for everyone.
Meanwhile, plans are building up a head of steam ahead of the annual Hatters’ Half Marathon, with Race Director John Giles making the final preparations for an event that has grown each year, raising more and more for the Guardian Account, as well as local and national charities.
Enjoy the game
18 February – Stockport County v FC United of Manchester:
In January 2015, the Stockport County Supporter’s Co-operative launched the Guardian Account, with a view to acquiring an asset on behalf of the football club – which would be owned by members of the Supporters Co-operative. Initially launched with a £10,000 transfer from Co-op funds at our AGM, the balance now stands at an impressive £31,200 – and we are looking to grow this amount considerably over the next few years.
The Co-op’s flagship event, the Hatters Half marathon will take place on Sunday 3rd September. Last year’s event was won by James Scott-Buccleuch from Stockport Harriers and Sharon Johnstone from Wilmslow Running Club. 562 runners signed up for last year’s event and we raised £6,000 for the Co-op’s Guardian Account. We are currently finalising the approvals from the relevant authorities and hope to make the 3rd Hatters Half the biggest and best yet.
I would like to extend a big thank you to our fantastic sponsors, Robinsons Brewery, who have supported our race for the 3rd year running. Their support is invaluable and helps secure the success of this event.
The number of events being organised has kept both Dave Marchbank and myself very busy, but it was clear that as we expand our fundraising activities, more resources were required. It is therefore a pleasure to welcome Graham Privett, Tim Rowson, Edward Keane and Andy Plant who have joined our events team.
Tim has volunteered to help sell the Co-op’s sizable stock of programmes (including some classics from the 50’s and 60’s, t-shirts, books and general memorabilia on Ebay. The Co-op have our own dedicated account and you can follow us at countyco-op. Andy has already arranged a couple of fantastic football tournaments at Power League and we are now in discussions with the Stockport County Community Foundation regarding a junior event, so watch this space! Graham will be helping promote the County night at CAMRA’s Stockport Beer Festival, held at Edgeley Park – this will take place on Thursday 1st June.
We have arranged another County Quiz night at the Spinning Top on 11th March at 6pm, after the Curzon Ashton game. The event is hosted by Nick Lee and an enjoyable, entertaining evening is guaranteed! Entry is £4 per person / £20 per team (maximum 5 players). Excellent Stockport related prizes for each member of the winning team, lots of spot prizes and there is also a grand raffle! Email – email@example.com to sign up.
Supporters can donate to the Guardian Account by following this link to the Co-op website – www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/guardian-account/.
Finally, I’d like to place on record my thanks to Tim Wightman and Rob Walters from Stockport Family Church for organising a wonderful Christmas Carol service at Edgeley Park. There was a real County focus with speeches from Jim Gannon, Billy Montgomery (club chaplain) and a video of players and fans explaining what Christmas meant to them. The event supported The Wellspring, Stockport based Resource Centre for Homeless and Disadvantage People, with a collection raising around £500.
Co-op Board Member – Events
04 February – Stockport County v Stalybridge Celtic:
With pre planning for the third Stockport Hatters Half Marathon just underway, Race Director John Giles and his team of workers were given a major boost ,from Robinsons Brewery .
The popular Stockport Brewer confirmed that they would again place themselves at the head of the massive community effort that is this fast growing, and nationally known road and trail race.
Asked to comment Giles said` I am delighted to know that Robinson’s Brewery will again, for the third year in three, be supporting the race as its Premier Corporate Partner. Continuing, Giles offered ` Robinson’s support enables us to get out of the blocks early, organisationally speaking, ensuring the race continues to grow, their input is greatly valued ‘
This year’s race starts outside Edgeley Park at 09.30 on Sunday 3 September 2017.
Entry costs £18 affiliated runners, and £20 for un-affiliated, and anyone willing to join `Team Hatters Half’ and help out ( and earn a race goody bag) on race day, can get information via this facebook page…..
Last weekend saw Stockport County Supporters Cooperative take its popular `County Quiz’ on tour, pitching up at the Social Club at New Mills Football Club.
It was always a massive ask, to stray beyond our notional borders, but with the County fan base reaching far into Cheshire and beyond we felt it a risk worth taking, at least John Giles Dave Marchbank, and Nick Lee did, and great credit is due to them!
Nick Lee was the genial Quiz Master again and did a terrific job, posing some decent questions to an unknown and possibly, to a degree, none County audience.
So…there was some trepidation before the first question was aired, but it all went off swimmingly, with 9 teams packing the New Mills FC Social Club. The New Mills Club were absolutely great hosts and amongst those present supporting the event was the New Mills first team fresh from their league game away at Nelson.
The competition was keen throughout, and despite gnarled and battle hardened `Coop Elite’ pulling out all the stops, they were unable to make it 3 wins in three, finishing third, behind `Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dead Dog .
The exotically named `Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dead Dog’ were doughty performers, but were just edged out of the honours by ` Norfolk and Chance’ who won out by just one point!
The evening was a big success and raised almost £200 for the Guardian Account which was boosted to £31200.
Buoyed by the success of this most unlikely of efforts, Giles, Marchbank and Lee have plumped for a repeat closer to home, so…diaries out please, to note that the next `County Quiz’ will be at the Spinning Top, on the A6 near the Garrick Theatre, on Saturday 11 March 2017.
21 January – Stockport County v Darlington 1883:
Co-op Quiz on Tour
Following on from the Co-op’s highly successful quiz night at the Spinning Top back in October, and an impressive victory for the Co-op Board team – of which yours truly was a member….. (in truth, I only managed to answer one question and wrote the answers down, but it all helps you know!) the quiz night is going on tour. Tonight’s destination is New Mills Football Club, Church Lane, New Mills, High Peak SK22 4NP. Your quiz master is, once again, our very own Nick Lee. The cost to enter is £3 per person or £15 per team with all proceeds to the Guardian Account. There are prizes to winners, a grand raffle and it all kicks off after 6pm. Please feel free to just turn up on the night. It is only 10 minutes on the train, and you can catch a train from Stockport at 17.35, returning at 23.20. If tonight is a success hopefully we can pitch up at other locations around Stockport.
Additions to the Co-op Board
The Board are delighted to announce two co-options to the Co-op Board.
Paul Thompson has agreed to be co-opted onto the Co-op Board for another twelve months. Paul is our webmaster and does a fabulous job in keeping the website up to date with all the current news.
We have also co-opted Ed Keane, a Pop Side regular, and a long-time supporter of both Stockport County Football Club and the Co-op. He will be helping out the events team with all their fundraising efforts.
I’m sure all our members will welcome these additions to the Board.
In other news….
The main focus of 2017 will to be continue to grow the Guardian Account, which currently stands at just over £31,000, via various fundraising events. To have raised such an amount of money in a relatively short space of time is a fabulous effort and we thank all who have supported it, and continue to support it. Look out for future events in the coming months.
To become a member of the Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call in at the cabin in the Cheadle End Car Park on match days between 1.30 and 2.30. Alternatively, join online at www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/join-us/
Enjoy the match today and let’s hope we get another three points!
14 January – Stockport County v Brackley Town (FA Trophy Round 2):
Last week saw the first meeting of the Cooperative Board of 2017.
The small back room in the Alexandra public house was almost full as the meeting started with the Chair welcoming newly co-opted member Ed Keane to his first board meeting , along with returning co-optee Paul Thompson, who provides invaluable Webmaster services to the group.
John Giles gave a report back on the meeting between the Club and Cooperative boards, where we had advanced sight of the Club accounts. It was agreed we seek a copy of the full accounts from the Club.
Part of the reason that the room was so crowded was the fact that a large monitor took up a fair amount of room space. The purpose of this was to facilitate a Power Point Presentation by Giles, on the future of the Guardian Account. This was splendidly presented and well received, following which it was agreed to give further consideration as to ultimate actions on the Guardian Account at the next meeting.
Catering at Edgeley Park was discussed at length following our observations at the Cheadle End bar at half time during the match with Harrogate. Many complaints have been received about slow to non – existent service and it was agreed that we raise the matter with the Club at the earliest opportunity.
Regarding the upcoming County Museum, consultations were in hand twixt the Cooperative and Help the Hatters on the subject. The Draft Inventory of Museum Exhibits had now been produced, and Help the Hatters were looking for someone to type the exhibit labels for the Museum.
Paul Charnock’s Financial Report indicated that the Cooperative continued to be in rude health financially speaking- the Guardian Account sitting at £ 30.8k and General Fund at £ 5.3k.
Under Events, satisfaction was recorded at the recent events that had done so well, amongst them the 5 A Side Tournament, won by the impressive Stockport County Community Foundation team. This was a resounding success. The Xmas Cavort was less so, but both events raised nice amounts for the Guardian Account, whilst the Christmas Carol Concert proved a great community effort and raised our profile significantly.
Upcoming events include New Mills Quiz Night on 21 January and possibly some Table Top Sales in the winter months, but looking further ahead it was noted that a date ( Sunday 3 September 2017) had been provisionally set for the Hatters Half Marathon, and we were already negotiating with Stockport and Manchester Council’s on the necessary permissions.
In Any Other Business a discussion took place regarding an event in honour of the late Chris Thompson. This was likely to be in March, and the Cooperative agreed to get involved providing, amongst other things, raffle prizes and publicity etc.
The meeting concluded fairly late on, but …all in all a decent amount of work had been sorted.
01 January – Stockport County v Harrogate Town:
I have been struck by the number of times recently I have heard the term `County Family’ used.
The context is usually a positive one maybe whereby County supporters had combined their wit and energies in a good cause. In this respect there was the Michelle Wheatley Appeal, that touched the hearts of many and was so typical of the `County Family’ responding well to a crisis. There have been other examples , and all of them have seen County fans, at all levels from board level to walk-up fan, involved, moving small mountains in a good cause!
For our part, the Supporters Cooperative has maintained its links with Stockport Homeless Charity-the Wellspring, and it has been a joy to see all sections of the Club respond to our appeals so generously….so often!
So….I think the `County Family’ does exist, and probably at the head of same is the County Club Board, and that board (with the Supporters Cooperative holding a watching brief) is made up of County fans and is making great strides in returning County to long term stability.
They are not alone……the full time staff at Edgeley Park is very small indeed, but they see that the day to day stuff, so vital in keeping the Club alive, is sorted.
Then…there is the army of volunteers , led by Help the Hatters, who play a major role in keeping the stadium in good repair- 52 weeks of the year! The Supporters Cooperative are proud to be associated with Help the Hatters , and to have been involved with them on such ongoing projects as the County Museum, the Bungalow and the Hatters Half Marathon. Another family member is the Stockport County Community Foundation, who do magnificent work with the schools inside and outside the Borough. It has been great to link up with the Community Foundation and we look forward to cooperating further in the future.
So…..it is more than possible to believe that, despite , or perhaps because of past hardships and tribulations for County, the supporters of the Club, do buy into the idea of a `County Family’ and more than that- keep it and the Club , alive with their energies.
The Supporters Cooperative is very much a part of the `County Family’.
To join us contact email@example.com or call in at the cabin in the Cheadle End Car Park on match days between 1.30 and 2.30
17 December – Stockport County v Altrincham:
If I am at all honest ,I will admit that when the Supporters Cooperative first settled on organising their now annual 5 A Side Tournament, there was pretty much only one aim, namely to provide members and others with a fun event when perhaps the wearisome burden of keeping that Xmas smile going is beginning to take its toll.
It’s a no brainer really…..December 27th….a couple of days after a major blow out…what you need is …less jingle bells and some good family fun in the great British out doors! We agreed on the Stockport Powerleague on Craig Road early doors as the multi pitch venue is ideal, and offers a chance to relax twixt games inside when competitors and spectators can unwind and maybe take on much needed liquids.
There was no real thought that we were offering an event that would contribute greatly to the physical well being of those taking part, but really, the event does offer a great opportunity to exercise limbs ill used over the festive season.
Loads of our members agreed and we quickly signed up 7 teams setting us on course to match the 12 team turn out of last season.
To date we have Yellowboard, Urmston Hatters, Rubber Souls, Alz Barberz, Ajax Trees Down, Exeter Quickly and Jimmy Sevilla, lining up on the 27th. Registration is at 12 noon and kick off 12.30, so why not get your team signed up?
It costs £5 per person, and squads are limited to 7 players- entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tournament is very competitive and is taken seriously by all who commit to competing , and a tremendous advert for the Cooperative and its Events Team who work so hard throughout the year.
A token of just how hard was revealed at the weekend , when all the stops were pulled out in support of the Wellsprings `Rucksack Project’. The Cooperative were in the Cheadle End Cabin, before Saturday’s game with Altrincham, taking donations from supporters, and I must say that the response from fans was simply excellent. Much was collected and will be delivered to the Stockport homeless charity soon as possible.
After the game ,in the evening, the Events Team focus switched to the Spinning Top where the Cooperative’s `Christmas Cavort’ took place. This was another splendid event ,one that created just the right level of yuletide conviviality! Everyone enjoyed themselves and a decent amount was raised via the landlords donation and the raffle , to the Guardian Account.
Move on to Sunday and it was back to Edgeley Park where ,in the Conference Centre, Stockport County, in cooperation with the Supporters Cooperative and Stockport Family Church staged the `Christmas Carol Concert’. This was a first timer as events go, but we were pleased to be involved helping it be the success it was.
10 December – Stockport County v Marine (FA Trophy Round 1):
I have used before the analogy of the duck serenely drifting on the water whilst its legs feverishly belt away under the surface, to attempt to illustrate the work done behind the scenes at Clubs like Stockport County.
In their 133 year history, Stockport County have had more senior players than any other English Premiership or Football League club (over 1300 players). To celebrate this fact, the Supporters Cooperative decided that every player who has ever played a senior game for the Club , at FL or FA Cup level, would be issued with a unique acknowledgement of this fact in the form of a framed, wax stamped certificate lovingly hand crafted by our Calligrapher Brian Dixon. Thus, with the help and support of the Supporters Cooperative, SCAN was born, and a small team of dedicated individuals set about putting this unique scheme together.
The specially commissioned SCAN certificates are all presented by a Stockport County supporter, to the player ,former player or descendant.
Yours truly enjoyed the honour of being able to present the SCAN certificate to former County player Mike Harold with whom I went to school in the 1950’s, and many other County supporters have enjoyed the same privilege in the 6 years that SCAN has been in existence.
The Scheme was launched at Edgeley Park on Saturday 16th October 2010 when a group of former players and descendents were invited back as guests of Stockport County to attend the County v Barnet game. Immediately after the game a presentation evening took place with the then current playing squad, former players and families, all taking part along with a huge gathering of County supporters eager to present certificates to players and former players. It was a splendidly emotional occasion which included the splendid sight of the oldest surviving former County player George Haigh receiving his SCAN certificate from the youngest- Paul Turnbull.
The scheme is a fans initiative and the Supporters Cooperative is proud to be associated with it and pays full tribute to the SCAN guardians who ensure the scheme survives even though County now find themselves outside the Football League.
But these situations are not permanent, and all at the Club are convinced that James Gannon will see County back in the Football League.
And……the improved form that James has brought to the team, recently resulted in County reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time for a while- so a fresh batch of SCAN certificates were commissioned, for the current County squad who played against Woking, and I can tell you that these are now being produced to facilitate a SCAN Presentation Evening some time soon!
To find out about SCAN, go to http://gogogocounty.org/scan/scanindex.html
26 November 2016 – Stockport County v Bradford Park Avenue (FA Trophy Qualifying Round 3):
County entertain Bradford PA for the second time in a fortnight. Last week’s League game finished in a 1-2 reverse to the Yorkshire Club.
The Co-op held its AGM on Thursday 17th November, and our thanks to all the members who attended especially those that supported the Raffle which took the GA to over £30,500. I feel it’s worth outlining some of the achievements of the Board since they took office.
Resolved the membership systems issues and grown the fully paid up membership from around 50 to just under 500.
Set up the GA and grown it to over £30,500.We are now opening talks with the Club to make Part Ownership in Edgeley Park the focus for the Guardian Account. There will be a member’s consultation process to seek official approval.
Established sponsorship deals with Robinsons Brewery who sponsor the Hatters Half Marathon, as well as deals with Cryptic Ales and The Spinning Top.
Co-op Solicitors put Legal Structures in place, to enable the Co-op to hold Shares in the Club on behalf of our supporters. The Co-op currently hold £17,500 Shares.
Set up and grown the Hatters Half Marathon, and made good relationships with the Council and Sponsors. First year the race made £4,500 this year made £6,000 next year projected £8,500 and 2018 projected £10,000+
A Presence at the CAMRA Stockport Beer Festival. This year we hope to be linking up with Remedy Bar who are sponsors for the Thursday Evening. See the website for all our calendar events throughout the year.
COMMUNITY & CHARITY
We are involved in the Museum project at Edgeley Park and plan to submit a grant application to help support this initiative, we have also raised over £11,000 for Local and National Charities, including a substantial amount for our nominated Charity The Wellspring.
The Co-op have set up a new eBay Account, this will help us reach exiled supporters, eBay also provides a platform for us to sell goods to raise funds for the GA with a far wider scope than previously.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED AND HELP?
There are lots of ways. Obviously we encourage all supporters to join the Co-op, and this can be done online at www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk or at the Cabin in the Cheadle End Car Park. The co-op welcome donations of all County memorabilia including Shirts, Scarves, Hats, Badges, etc. We are now extending what we will take to sell to raise funds for the GA to include anything that can be sold on eBay we are particularly interested in Sports memorabilia. Our First sale on eBay was a pair of Children’s Football boots which sold for a very respectable £23.20 as children grow so fast there must be many pairs of boots across the County which have been outgrown why not bring them to the Cabin and help us raise funds for the GA ?
Enjoy the game
Co-op Vice Chair
19 November 2016 – Stockport County v Bradford Park Avenue:
Today we welcome Bradford Park Avenue to Edgeley Park and if ever a set of supporters can empathise with us and our recent fall from grace it’s today’s visitors, when I started watching County BPA were a struggling division 4 side, but they had decent support and a cracking ground. I thought at the time they’d be back pretty quickly but they continued their decline and sadly the club was wound up in 1974, they were reformed in 1987 but by this time they’d lost their ground and most of the local kids grew up supporting Bradford City. While our fall has been similar in many ways we’ve held onto our identity and a big part of that is down to us staying at Edgeley Park, a place that holds so many great memories for all of us.
The Co-op board, like all County fans ,realise the importance of Edgeley Park and that is why we have set up the Guardian Account which currently stands in excess of £30,000, this money (your money) is just the start of us building up a substantial amount to obtain part ownership in the ground for the supporters of County. We’re already shareholders in the club, now we want to share in the ownership of the bricks and mortar to preserve it for future generations and perhaps more importantly to safeguard it against anyone coming along with asset stripping in mind.
As a board we’re always looking at ways to increase the amount in the Guardian Account and while we hold a number of events ranging from quiz nights raising a couple of hundred quid to the Hatters Half Marathon which this year raised around £6000, we’re always looking for new ways so if you have any ideas and are willing to get involved please get in touch. One simple way you can contribute is by digging out any old County shirts, hats and scarfs etc. we sell these from our cabin on the Cheadle End car park to County fans who often have special memories of particular eras and like to wear the shirts from those times.
The most important way to contribute though is to join the Supporters Co-operative, a thousand members would bring in £12000 per year but more importantly it would take us closer to our target of getting all County fans signed up. I’ve already stated the importance of Edgeley Park but there is something that is far more important and that’s us the supporters, and we can do much more to help drive the club forward if we come together- so please if you haven’t done it already join us.
15 November 2016 – Stockport County v Gainsborough Trinity:
In January 2015, the Stockport County Supporter’s Co-operative launched the Guardian Account, with a view to acquiring an asset on behalf of the football club – which would be owned by our supporters.
The objective of the Guardian Account was initially kept flexible, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because the Co-op wanted to build up a notable sum to demonstrate credibility and provide a statement of intent, in any discussions with any relevant parties and secondly, because the situation at the football club is subject to change over time.
During this period, the Co-op board have looked to create structures to generate regular income for the Guardian Account – primarily from events and activities. In September, the 2nd Hatters Half Marathon took place, 561 runners participated, nearly £6,000 profit was achieved and the event received fantastic feedback from the running community.
The cabin in the Cheadle End car park sells football shirts and memorabilia donated by our fans, this is on target to raise £1,600 for the season. Other events include quiz nights, junior / senior tournaments at Power League, the Christmas Cavort, promotions at the Stockport Beer Festival and brewery links with Cryptic Ales and the Spinning Top pub.
Initially launched with a transfer from Co-op funds of £10,000 at our AGM, the balance of the Guardian Account now exceeds £30,000 and is well positioned to increase significantly, due to the structures that the Co-op board have put in place.
At the October Co-op board meeting, a clear purpose and objective for the Account was discussed and the board agreed in principal that our ‘preferred option’ is for the funds to be used to purchase a stake in Edgeley Park. This is to safeguard Edgeley Park for future generations and also provide an asset which can be owned by the fans, via the Co-op.
The Co-op would like to seek approval from our members at the forthcoming AGM on 17th November. If support from our members is secured, the Co-op would look to open negotiations with Stockport County Football Club – and then Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
The Guardian Account will remain flexible, should circumstances change, but the Co-op board feel that it is very important to have a clear objective for the Guardian Account going forward – and will enable us to appeal directly to our supporters for support with fund raising.
If you would like to donate – please follow this link to our website: www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/guardian-account/
05 November 2016 – Stockport County v Woking (FA Cup 1st Round):
Welcome to Edgeley Park for today’s FA Cup First Round clash with Woking, the culmination of a period that has seen James Gannon’s side gradually improve week-on-week. It’s been pleasing to see the strides made over recent weeks, and the side are starting to look like a proper Gannon team. Even last weekend’s narrow defeat to Kidderminster couldn’t banish the feeling that things are starting to go right on the pitch.
The Co-op have been working as hard as ever, with a big focus on the Guardian Account. The balance has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years, and the latest milestone was hit last weekend. It was a pleasure to announce at last Saturday’s quiz, held at the Spinning Top, that the Guardian Account had hit £30,000. This has been the result of a number of events and initiatives, from the second annual Hatters Half Marathon in September, to the quiz nights and 5-a-side tournaments held throughout the year.
Now that a significant amount has been accrued, thoughts will turn to finding a purpose for the fund. This is where you, the members, have the chance to shape YOUR Co-op. It’s highly likely that we’ll have a contested election this year, meaning it’s more important than ever for members to have their vote on how the Co-op moves forward. If you’re not a member, it couldn’t be easier to sign up, thanks to the fantastic new membership system. Just visit www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/join-us to find out more.
Alternatively, you can go to the Co-op cabin in the Cheadle End car park, open before every Saturday home game. There, you can sign up and renew existing memberships, or take a look at our vast amount of items for sale. From memorabilia to shirts, there’s plenty on offer, and the cash from all sales goes directly to the Guardian Account.
In the meantime, we hope to announce details of the annual Christmas Cavort soon, while the quiz goes on tour to New Mills FC on January 21st, giving a chance for our High Peak members to get involved. Keep an eye on our social media channels and right here to hear all the latest news.
Enjoy the game
29 October 2016 – Stockport County v Kidderminster Harriers:
It’s Election Time!
No, we’re not talking the American Presidential elections; something far more important, the elections for the Co-op Board. I can tell your eyes are starting to glaze over already, but board members are the representatives of all Co-op members and it is their responsibility to ensure that County fans have an influential voice in the running of the Club. Co-op board members are elected to three-year terms and this year four members of the board are coming to the end of their tenure.
Peter Towey has been our chairman for the last three years with Dave Marchbank acting as vice-chair and events co-ordinator. Paul Charnock has been our community liaison and stepped up to the plate to take the position of treasurer during the last year. Billy Byrne has done an amazing job getting the shambolic membership system fit for purpose with a swanky new set up that allows members to update their own details on the internet. I am sure I speak for everyone when I offer them my thanks for their sterling work. I understand they all intend to stand for a further term. Another current board member who will be standing in the elections this year is Nick Lee who was co-opted last year to bring a more youthful outlook to the board’s work. As he was co-opted for a one-year term, Nick will also need to stand for election this time.
The elections begin at the Co-op’s AGM which will be held on 17th November in the Bungalow and all members are welcome to attend. We are hoping that the election this year will be contested with more people from the membership coming forward to offer their skills and experiences. If this is the case, hustings will take place at the AGM on 17 November, and eligible members will be able to vote for their preferred candidates over the following three weeks.
All information regarding the AGM and the elections process can be found on our website or you can speak to us at the cabin in the Cheadle End car park before a home game.
Our sponsorship deals with Cryptic Ales and The Spinning Top are proving fruitful and we thank County fans for patronising our sponsors which helps to further the relationships we are building with them.
We hope that you enjoy the game today. County are on top form at the moment with two FA Cups wins and two league wins so far in October. A win today against our opponents Kidderminster Harriers would see a 100% October! And after the game, at the Spinning Top (next to the Garrick Theatre on the A6) we are hosting a County Quiz. Why not come along and test your knowledge against your fellow fans? It’s a light-hearted general knowledge quiz with some County thrown in for good measure, hosted by our own Nick Lee. Entry to the quiz is £5 per person, or you could just come along to jeer at how little we know J
See you there!
15 October 2016 – Stockport County v Bishop Aukland (FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round):
It is evident to all that the Stockport County family is coming together in support of Manager James Gannon, and as part of the County family the Supporters Cooperative has happily played its part in this process.
Whilst we have been justifiably engaged in trying to look after the future by consistently boosting the Guardian Account (GA) via a whole host of events and other activities, we have been clear about our objectives going forward which remain to continue to represent diligently the interests of our members.
We have continued to support the efforts of the current board of the Club where appropriate, whilst retaining and using the right to raise issues on behalf of our members when necessary . Part of building a strong Stockport County, in our view, involves ensuring the Supporters Cooperative has a growing….informed membership, and we will continue to ensure this is so! This membership reached 421 last week !
On membership, we will continue to encourage members to renew and non members join on line or via the Cheadle End Cabin which offers fans without on line access an easy point of contact with the board who can be questioned on any issue. Membership can be renewed and non members recruited via this route!
We, regularly encourage supporters to visit the Bungalow before games and thus boost the Players Fund. The Stockport County Supporter’s Co-operative fully supports this initiative driven by Help the Hatters , and the work of Help the Hatters in this and other areas of the Club is both inspirational and magnificently practical , thus well worthy of support in our opinion!
We cannot be happy with our status as part of Division 6 in the football pyramid, and will give James Gannon and the Club all the support needed to gain promotion out of it as soon as possible. This may not happen this year, but James Gannon is assuredly the right man to see the job done in this respect- given time and support from supporters and Club.
The Supporters Co-op believes that the best way to achieve success is by ensuring the best structures are in place. For this reason, we have placed sustained pressure on the club board to achieve financial stability, write down / write off shareholder debt and secure Edgeley Park (which is now under Council ownership).
Currently we have a Club Board that, is slowly bringing stability and probity back to the Club, thus helping to secure the Club’s future.
The Supporters Cooperative board are delighted to join the rest of the County family in helping to make that future the brightest possible!
08 October 2016 – Stockport County v Salford City:
Welcome to Edgeley Park for this afternoon’s game against Salford.
After last week’s excellent win in the FA Cup against today’s opponents, its back to League action and hopefully we can build on the performances in the last two home games and pick up 3 vital points today.
It’s going to be a very busy few weeks for the Supporters Co-operative. T he AGM is coming up in November, and with 4 current board members having completed their three year term facing the election process,it looks very likely that we will be having a contested election, which is very welcome.
The interest in the Co-operative is growing and after the installation of our new membership system we’re very pleased that membership is continuing to grow and we now have well over 400 fully paid up members. All members will be notified of the AGM and the election process ,and I would ask that all members please log onto the new system and check that your contact details are correct. For those members that we don’t have e mail addresses for , we will be issuing the AGM notice by post . All the details and information for anyone wishing to stand for election can be found on our Website https://webcollect.org.uk/mem/index.php?page=login&action=login.sign_in_or_sign_up
The Supporters Co-operative will be the match ball sponsor for our game against Kidderminster on 29th October and we will be doing a free draw for members for 4 lots of 2 tickets to be our guests for the day, all winners will be notified on Monday 24th October ( another reason to ensure contact details are correct!).
As winter approaches we will be continuing to support our chosen charity, The Wellspring, and will be making regular appeals for donations of food, toiletries, warm clothing etc . Donations can be left in The Co-op cabin and the club shop before all home games , we know from past experiences how generous the County family are and we thank you all for the support you give to The Wellspring.
Enjoy the game this afternoon and after roaring in the boys to another victory why not pop along to The Spinning Top( near the Garrick Theatre on the A6) for a well earned drink, the Co-op have agreed a deal with the excellent landlord at the ST, whereby the Guardian Account benefits from a generous donation from takings between 5 and 8pm on County home match days.
Quench your thirst then….. and support the Guardian Account at the same time what could be better ?
Thanks for reading this
01 October 2016 – Stockport County v Salford City (FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round):
Mindful that the hours of darkness are descending upon us ever earlier with the every passing day, and with the weather moving from not very good to very decidedly iffy, the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative has sprung into action in support of the homeless of Stockport.
Experience has shown us that the very best way to do this is to get behind and support the Wellspring- the magnificent Stockport charity that does so much for the homeless of our great town.
With this in mind we are calling on members, and other County supporters to make donations of food ( tinned foods, tea, sugar, coffee etc) toiletries ( shampoo, soap, disposable razors etc) and of course warm clothing items. With winter approaching rapidly the needs of Stockport’s homeless become ever more urgent and we will be taking donations, before today’s against Salford City, and the league game aginst the same side ,next Saturday ( between 1.15 and 2.30) at the Cabin in the Cheadle End Car Park.
We have always had a magnificent response from previous appeals, and we thank you in advance for your anticipated help and support.
The Cheadle End Cabin is proving a great boon as a point of contact twixt supporters and ourselves, and last Saturdays home game against Hyde United, allowed us to conclude the raffle for a rather excellent signed framed County shirt from season 2004/5. The shirt, which contained the signatures of Ashley Williams( now plying his trade in the Premier League and International arena so successfully) and Joe Corrigan who was County Goalkeeping Coach at the time, was won by Steve Goodwin from New Mills.
The Guardian Account has been well supported via the Cabin, where supporters have rallied round brilliantly both donating shirts and buying shirts from us, with the GA the beneficiary. We are still taking donations of memorabilia and selling same ( 1.15 to 2.30 pre Saturday match days) so please keep the memorabilia coming!
Players Fund – The Supporters Cooperative was happy to join Help the Hatters, recently, in confirming continued support for the Players Fund.
Help the Hatters do sterling work organising and managing the Players Fund , and when they are not putting the pods out at Edgeley Park, they can be found, from 1 o’clock before every home match in the Bungalow where buying a pint clocks up a donation of 50p to the PF.
Its thirsty work being a County fan, so pre match the Bungalow is the place to go to support the Players Fund, whilst after the game those County supporters wishing to support the Guardian Account should head off to the Spinning Top ( near the Garrick Theatre) where from 5 until 8pm every pint drunk attracts a substantial donation to the GA.
Finally… the next meeting between Stockport County Board and the Supporters Cooperative is on 27 October. Members wishing to submit questions for same, should do so to email@example.com for 19 October.
27 September 2016 – Stockport County v AFC Fylde (Re-arranged from 13 Sept):
Welcome back to Edgeley Park for tonight’s game against AFC Fylde. Since we were relegated to the Vanarama League North, I feel Fylde have been the stand out team, and they can consider themselves unlucky not to have gained promotion having narrowly missed out the last couple of Seasons. Fylde have made a Statement of Intent this season by going full time. County signed both Ben Hinchliffe and Danny Lloyd from Fylde and this should add a little extra spice to tonight’s game, which has the makings of a real cracker.
As my role within the Co-op Board is fundraising, it is particularly pleasing to see our sponsorship deals start to come to fruition, both Cryptic Ales and The Spinning Top have really bought into the Aims and Objectives of the Co-op and their support for the Guardian Account is very much appreciated. The Spinning Top donates 10% of the takings after County Home games, between 5-8 Mike (a Torquay Fan) is a big fan of Real Ale, Live Music and Football. County fans are making the ST the place to be after the game, and indeed I will be calling in after tonight’s game and hope to see some of you there for a chat, The Spinning Top is located on the A6 next to the Garrick Theatre.
Cryptic Ales donate £0.50p from every bottle sold of the award winning Ghost beer* bought from the Brewery. The Brewery is open on a Friday afternoon 4.30-6.30 for Bottles of Ghost beer. Cryptic Ales are located on 3 Carrington Field Street, near the back of the Fairway Pub. Orders for bottles of Ghost can be made by phone by calling 0161-222 8840 Please Support these two excellent initiatives.
*Cryptic Ghost beer won Bronze at the prestigious CAMRA Stockport Beer and Cider festival as voted for by the punters.
Another big success for the GA is the Co-op Cabin- our appeals for shirts have received a really positive response and the fans have once again stepped up to the plate to buy them in good numbers, Many thanks to all our Supporters who have both kindly donated to and also bought from the Cabin.
The second Hatters Half marathon took place on Sunday 4th September, and once again was a tremendous success with 140 more runners taking part than last year’s race. Many congratulations to all the runners who took part, and also to our fantastic volunteers who helped marshal the race. The race not only raises a substantial amount of money for some very worthy charities, it will also raise in the region of £6,000 for the Guardian Account taking the total to over £27,000. Full details including Photos and a Super Video on the race can be found on http://hattershalf.co.uk
The exact figures from the Race are still to be confirmed, as the reconciliation needs verifying, however full details for the Guardian Account including the latest total can be found on www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk
Enjoy the Game
Co-op Vice Chair
17 September 2016 – Stockport County v Hyde (FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round):
This week has seen the Supporters Cooperative assessing the impact of and feedback from the recent , highly successful Hatters Half Marathon, which was supported by local firm Robinsons Brewery ,who helped us enormously.
We like to plan things meticulously, and having executed that plan, examine what was done well, and what requires adjustment. This process makes good organisational sense.
At the planning stage of last years inaugural race, I advised caution and proposed taking 12 months to plan the first race that would go ahead 2016.- the Coop Board Dinosaur position if you like. Happily John Giles ignored my advice and went ahead- the results being obvious to all- a magnificent race now in to its second year.
This year’s event attracted 455 runners on the day, a big increase from last year, and should generate a decent sum for the Guardian Account and push it past £27000.
Local homeless charity The Wellspring managed the baggage store and raised much needed moneys towards their work from runners as well as 15 potential runner/ sponsors.
St John’s Ambulance meanwhile, reported just 4 minor injuries and 2 more serious ( runners they wanted to called an ambulance for, but they declined). Runner safety is our number 1 priority, and thankfully a final, after the race assessment revealed that everyone who took part is safe and well.
It was clear that everyone who helped out on the day did a fantastic job, ensuring this magnificent advert for Stockport went off smoothly, and there were the usual clutch of heart warming stories en route, most notably the spontaneous gesture by the proprietor of Big Savings on Northgate Road who gave away bottles of water to runners as they passed- just one of many truly excellent gestures by the people of Stockport!
We asked runners to give us their feedback( see https://www.facebook.com/hattershalf/ ) and it was gratifying to receive this testimonial from one runner ….
This is the first time I’ve ever run in anything like this (I wasn’t ready for last year’s race after a short break of thirty-odd years from running) and for a beginner, the great organisation and stewarding made everything a breeze. Thanks very much for all the hard work you and the team so obviously put into it. Definitely looking forward to knocking a few minutes off my time next year!
Also, you may not always get to hear about the other great things that come out of your hard work. I’ve not quite finished collecting my sponsorship yet, but it looks like I won’t be too far short of £1000 raised for Motor Neurone Disease Association – .https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Des-Greene So thanks also for giving me a vehicle to achieve that. Des.
Encouraging words , and we cannot wait to host Des and anyone else who has the urge to run next years Hatters Half Marathon.
10 September 2016 – Stockport County v Boston United:
The 2nd Hatters Half Marathon took place on Sunday starting at Edgeley Park, home of Stockport County, and finishing in nearby Alexandra Park.
- The start
It is fair to say that tension has been mounting in the last few weeks as Race Director John Giles meticulous planning neared its ultimate test, and it was perhaps inevitable that we would wake up on Sunday morning with the sound of rain in our ears from the Stockport streets.
Last year’s inaugural race was a first effort for Giles and the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative, but with great support from local businesses most notably Stockport’s Robinsons Brewery, and despite an almost constant drizzle throughout, this year’s race was a resounding success attracting almost 550 runners to the multi terrain event.
The sun shone last year , but this time around the race day weather matched almost precisely the forecasts before the event, which was not a great prospect when runners came to negotiate the off road sections particularly the loop of Didsbury Golf Club.
Come the appointed time( 09.30) and the race was in motion heading off through Alexandra Park to the Trans Pennine Trail via Northgate Road and Brinksway. It was an awesome sight to see the massive column of runners skirt the mighty River Mersey heading for Northenden before tracking back on the same route to the finish.
There was a great battle going on at the head of the field almost from the gun, and by half way Stockport Harrier James Scott –Buccleuch, and Rob Downs of Wilmslow Running Club were locked in a tense struggle for supremacy. This continued for a while, but by the time he had turned left into Alexandra Park, Scott-Buccleuch had the race sewn up striding away to a fine victory( see photo taken by Talib Rehman with half a mile to go) , with Rob Downs second and another Stockport Harrier, Paul Brooks taking the third spot. The race was in the Stockport Harrier Race Series, and SHAC men did particularly well taking 7 of the first 15 finishing positions.
- James Scott-Buccleuch
The ladies race was a different story , as Wilmslow’s Sharon Johnstone took a grip on proceedings early on, never to let it go ,coming home alone, ahead of Glossopdale’s Kirsty Johnson with Carol Paxton an unattached runner in third. The highest placed Stockport Harrier was Samantha Jones in fifth.
- Sharon Johnstone
In the highly competitive field of the veteran runners , Wilmslow pretty much ran away with the prizes ,in the mens categories…Barry Archbold, Andrew Whittingham, Mike Hilland Peter Stock taking V40, 45, 50 and 60, leaving only V65 to Stockport’s David Chatterton , with V55 going to unattached runner Alan Cole.
The lady vet prizes were spread around , Sarah Kirham and Jill Tavini, two unattached runners, took FV35 and 45 respectively, with the other prizes going the way of Kirsty Read of Hyde Village Striders( FV40) Lesley Sinclair of SHAC ( V50), with Nicky Mowatt( Wilmslow) and Belle Vue Racers Annie Hirsch taking FV 55 AND 60.
All in all …a great race and I await next year’s re-run with anticipation.
29 August 2016 – Stockport County v Worcester City:
Stockport’s Road & Trail Race, Hatters Half Marathon passed the 450 mark for entries recently, well up on last years numbers.
The race, organised and promoted by the Supporters Cooperative is fast acquiring a reputation for excellence and a growing national profile, with athletes from all over Britain signed up to run on Sunday 4 September.
Last year the inaugural event raised circa £4,000 for the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative Guardian Account, with runners raising a similar amount for various charities – including our Charity Partner, the Wellspring homeless charity and resource centre. With the GA now at £20600, this year’s race should push this important fund beyond £25000.
With the race just 6 days off , Race Director John Giles has organised two briefing sessions, to take place after the home matches , in the Bungalow Club ( next to the Railway End, Edgeley Park).
The first of these went ahead on Saturday 20th August after the match against Brackley Town, and was a most useful session, whilst the remaining session will be directly after today’s game with Worcester City. Starting at 5pm, this again will be a useful exercise to undertake, and will take no more than an hour of participants time.
If you have already volunteered and would like more information or you would like to volunteer, please feel free to attend at 5pm today.
For those wondering about the course and where they might best be of use, we can advise that the course is divided up into 5 sections:
– Hardcastle Road / Northgate Road
– Woolpack bridge (Woolpack pub – near to Pyramid) to Waterside Hotel
– Waterside Hotel section on Wilmslow Road
– Waterside Hotel to Simon Bridge (near Didsbury Golf club)
– Simon Bridge, Ford Lane, Boat Lane
A course map can be viewed at – http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=679916 , and every volunteer will receive a race goodie bag, which includes a free Stockport County ticket!
We hope to meet you in the Bungalow, but if you cannot make it on either day, and want to help out on 4 September, please email Johngiles20@hotmail.com
If however, you want to run, and have not yet entered…. there is still time , but please remember that whilst entries will be accepted on the day there will be increased race entry fee involved so it makes sense to sign up now, and you can do this via
Meanwhile we can confirm that our new , 4 page folding( credit card style) fixture list has now been produced and by now has been widely distributed. If you have not yet obtained one you can do this via the Cheadle End Cabin on match days, where supporters can also make donations of food ( Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Canned Foods) for our Wellspring Food Appeal, or purchase or donate iconic County memorabilia in support of the Guardian Account.
Thank you for your continued support.
20 August 2016 – Stockport County v Brackley Town:
I’d like to welcome our visitors from Brackley to Edgeley Park today. Over the last couple of seasons I have greatly enjoyed the hospitality of St. James’ Park (no, not Newcastle or Exeter but Brackley) where we have always had a friendly welcome, with decent bar and food facilities. I hope visiting fans find our ground equally welcoming.
At the time of writing County have played their first three games of the season, winning against Alfreton and Stalybridge Celtic and losing to that weird re-enactment society from Moston. In the first two games County scored seven goals from six different players. So much for the worry that we would lack fire-power this season. What may be a worry, however, is that in those games we have conceded six goals. Early days yet and I’m sure that in Jim Gannon we have the right man to sort things out.
While I was standing on the non-existent terraces at Broadhurst Park – where, although I’m six foot one, I had to stand on tiptoe to see anything on the ground nearer than the halfway line – I couldn’t help being struck by the surreal nature of our opponents’ set-up. To me they seem a totally artificial creation – something like a tribute band rather than the real thing. And just like to a great extent the success of a tribute band depends on the popularity of the original, I’m sure that a breakaway from a less well known, less globally marketed brand would never have enjoyed the publicity this lot get. You can sell bootleg Armani but it is harder to flog bootleg Primark. A splinter group from Rochdale FC would never have the same media interest. I’m not denigrating the efforts of their fans who have worked hard and raised money to get their club on its feet, I just find the whole atmosphere bizarre.
FCUM fans are not the only ones, of course, who work hard to secure a future for their club. Here at Stockport County, the Supporters’ Co-operative are busy with a whole raft of money-raising schemes, the most important of which is our second Hatters Half-Marathon, to be held on Sunday 4th September. We urgently need more volunteers to help with marshalling the race – if you can help, please contact us via the Co-op website.
Chair. County Supporters’ Co-operative.
16 August 2016 – Stockport County v Halifax Town:
Happy new season! Can you believe it’s the fourth game of the season already?!
The season kicked off on Friday 5 August with the annual Memorial Day where County fans gather at the Royal Scot pub in Marple Bridge to raise a glass to all County fans, players and managers who are no longer with us. The Co-operative Supporters Club bought a wreath again as a sign of respect from all our members from the florist a few doors down (Jenni Fleurs) who are now well trained in the exact shade of blue we require! Approximately 60 County fans (and one pig) gathered, much to the delight of the new landlord who looked after us all – even providing free sausage rolls (don’t tell the pig!) It was a beautiful day and a cracking kick off to the season. Topped off with a brilliant, if nail biting, win the following day.
After the Alfreton match, a fair few of us headed down to the Spinning Top as after every home game they are kindly donating 10% of all takings to the Guardian Account between 5pm and 8pm on Saturdays and until closing time on Tuesdays. This is an incredible gesture for which the Co-op are very grateful. Phil Robbie will play some music while you sup, but don’t let that put you off! He will take requests. He even played Bucks Fizz for me last time (I know, but I am too long in the tooth to start apologising for my taste in music at this stage!)
The biggest event on the Co-op calendar at the moment is the second Hatters Half Marathon on Sunday 4 September. This is a massive event which raised £4,000 for the Guardian Account last year and this year it looks like it will be even bigger, so forgive us for keep banging on about it! Entrants are already up on last year’s race and the Co-op need as many volunteers as possible to help marshal. All volunteers get a free goodie bag which includes a match ticket kindly donated by the football club. Additionally, there are plans to all meet at the Alexandra Pub on Northgate Road for a well-earned pint afterwards. To help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or turn up at the Bungalow after the Brackley home game on Saturday where John will be holding a marshal meeting.
Enjoy the match today and let’s hope we get the result we want.
06 August 2016 – Stockport County v Alfreton Town:
This is the time of the season that every fan feels the same thing…. optimism!
A long season stretches ahead of us, friendships are renewed, away trips are planned and hundreds of brand new shirts are seen around the ground. A sense of what might be fills the air as we wait for the first whistle of the new season.
In recent years optimism has been thin on the ground and being a County fan has sometimes been a test of endurance but I believe that we are finally turning the corner.
The excellent efforts of the fans, the club and the board over the past few months have given us real reasons to be optimistic. By working together we have started to create a solid foundation for success.
Thanks to the work of the Help the Hatters volunteers the ground looks spick and span and money continues to be raised. The cooperative membership system gremlins have been banished for good and member numbers are growing. The Guardian Account has passed the £20,000 mark and will be boosted further in less than a month by the Hatters Half Marathon.
Off the pitch things continue to improve. We have a new Chairman in Richard Park who, along with the other board members, has been working hard to reduce the debt and bring stability to the club. Although this is not as exciting as signing a new striker, this vital work is safeguarding the future of our club.
For most of us the most important thing is what happens on the field and today we start the season with Jim at in charge of a squad that he has been building and strengthening over the summer, helped by money raised by fans through the Players Fund.
So, whether you are a glass half full or glass half empty person, and where County fans are concerned there is normally a glass involved somewhere, we can be more optimistic about this season than we have been for years.
We can all play our part in keeping things moving in the right direction. Volunteers have been playing a vital role in helping the club and there are plenty of opportunities to help.
The Supporters Cooperative is looking for volunteers to help marshal the Hatters Half Marathon on 4 September. This important event raises money for the guardian account and charities. To help, contact email@example.com.
Here’s to an exciting and successful campaign.
16 April 2016 – Stockport County v Corby Town:
As the season draws to a close most of us are probably left wondering what went wrong (again) this year was meant to be different, promotion or nothing, that was the slogan wasn’t it? Neil Young looked a good appointment and he brought in a complete new squad with a good mix of experience and the first month looked like we’d at last turned the corner but we’ve been there before only to find another dead end.
Another big disappointment for me is the number of County fans who have still not joined the Co-op, I just don’t get why anyone would not want to be part of a strong supporters group working with the club and pushing the fans agenda. We regularly sit down with the club and go through everything from the playing budget to the number of stewards at games and even the cost and quality of refreshments on sale in the ground. Some think we’re a protest group, others have accused us of not protesting enough, it’s a difficult balance but what we’re trying to achieve is a meaningful working relationship with the club, we want to influence the thinking behind the decision making at our club, we want to be part of it.
Enough of the disappointments, there are plenty of positives to shout about, the Co-op have built up a substantial fund in the shape of the Guardian Account, which will only be used when the majority of our members say so, we’re also shareholders in our club so if you join you’ll be a part owner. We’ve put on some really successful fund raising events, the biggest event and the one that has become our flagship event is the Hatters Half Marathon which was a huge success last September and this year it looks like it will be even better. We’ve also got the annual 5 a side tournament taking place in May at Power league and we’ve managed to make the Thursday night at the Stockport Beer festival `County night’ so we’ve got a lot going on. We’ve come a long way but we want to take this organisation a lot further and we can do it if we all get involved, so please join up it’s just £12 a year, just check out or website at www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk.
On a personal note the biggest positive for me this season came about through disappointment and that’s the return of Jim Gannon, I’m absolutely convinced that given time he’ll finish the job he started previously.
02 April 2016 – Stockport County v Lowestoft Town:
Welcome back to Edgeley Park for today’s game against Lowestoft, after the 2 disappointing defeats over Easter, let’s hope we can get back to winning ways.
The Supporters Co-operative have been working hard to bring our membership database up to date, this has involved moving our server and bringing all our membership details under “one roof”, we’re happy to announce that the work has been completed and it will go “live” on Monday 5th April.
All members will receive an e mail and once they’ve activated their account they will be able to access and manage their account on line, contact details, payment details can be changed and we’ve been able to add an option to pay subs by direct debit and again this can be set up on line.
Over the coming weeks and throughout the summer we will be having a major membership drive, all members who, for one reason or another , have not renewed their membership will be contacted and encouraged to renew. Co-op board members will be at the “Co-op Cabin ” on the Cheadle End car park before all games to answer any queries people may have and they will be able to collect completed membership forms and payment.
The Co-op, thanks to our partnership with Help the Hatters and the players fund, are now shareholders of OUR club, we attend board meetings and are able to bring up members concerns and questions directly with those running our club, on Easter Monday we met with the company in charge of catering at EP to bring up a number of concerns raised by supporters over the current situation, talks are ongoing, we will continue to bring up supporters concerns and where needed ask the “awkward” questions so I would encourage all supporters to join us, please visit our website for further details.
On the social side, we have the five a side tournament on Sunday 1st May, anyone wanting to enter a team, please email Andy Plant at Andrew.Plant@enwl.co.uk or visit http://www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/ for details.
Also on Thursday 2ndJune we have County night at The Stockport Beer Festival here at EP, tickets are only £2 and all tickets brought through the Co-op for the night will contribute to The Guardian account, so please if you’re thinking of attending the beer festival this year choose County night , thanks for reading, let’s hope the result goes our way this afternoon.
26 March 2016 – Stockport County v AFC Fylde:
The Events Team of the Supporters Cooperative are firing on all cylinders just now…. and well and truly buzzing with the news that the Supporters Cooperative `Big County Quiz’ at the Bungalow, raised over £300 for the Guardian Account.
It was a fantastic event that built to a tie breaking crescendo with teams Mc Fox and Coop Elite each finishing top of the pile with 63 points. A nerve tingling tie breaker saw Mc Fox pip the Elitists to carry off the medals and the prizes- what a way to ring the curtain down on a Saturday that included a 3-0 County victory as well!
Great though this was, it was only a start as there are exciting events in the Events Teams locker that are upcoming soon too….
For starters on Sunday 1 May Andy Plant is organising the annual Supporters Cooperative 5 A Side Tournament at the Power League.
Teams should arrive 11:30am for 12:00 noon start
5 a side. Max 8 players per team- £5 per player
The Tournament format will be determined on the day once all teams have arrived. The aim is a several group round robin start, followed by QF, SF, F . and Powerleague league rules will be adhered to.
Each team should get a minimum of 45 minutes in the group stage, and …….there’s a licensed bar on site , so what’s not to like?
All the proceeds again go to the Guardian Account, and team entries should be sent to Andrew.Plant@enwl.co.uk
Next up , tickets are now available for the `County Night’ at the 2016 Stockport Beer Festival on Thursday 2 June from 5.30pm until 11.00.
This popular event is again being staged at Edgeley Park, so it is entirely appropriate that the Supporters Cooperative have negotiated this evening session dedicated to our great Club.
Yes……for one night only Thursday night is County Night.
Tickets cost £2 each , and once more every penny from ticket sales will go towards boosting the Guardian Account!
Already Alan Ogley has agreed to attend and help give the evening a real County flavour, and there’s loads more in the offing too, so please support this event….and the Guardian Account …..by buying a ticket for the Thursday evening session …in advance….from the Supporters Cooperative. This way ensures the GA gets the income….pay on the night and the GA gets NOWT!
So …..where can you get a ticket?
From any Supporters Cooperative Board member
Pre match at the cabin in the Cheadle End car park ( 1.30- 2.30)
12 March 2016 – Stockport County v Gloucester City:
Q. What was the name of the referee when County played United at Old Trafford?
Know the answer? Are you a font of all County knowledge? Then perhaps you should get yourself to the Bungalow after the game and take part in the Co-op’s County Quiz! It’s £4 per player or £20 per team (teams of 5). You will get a free pie and the prize for the winning team is tickets to the Robinson’s Brewery Tour, kindly donated by Robinsons – a fantastic prize well worth winning. They’ll be other spot prizes as well. If you don’t fancy entering why not come along anyway and see how the teams get on. The 50p/pint offer is on and so the Players’ Fund will get a boost too.
It’s also great to be able to announce that following the huge success of the Hatters Half Marathon last year the race will be on again this year. Get the date in your diaries, it’s the 6th of September so that gives you plenty of time to get into training, so start limbering up. Registration is open so get your name down at hattershalf.co.uk If you don’t fancy running how about volunteering as a marshal? Our marshals were highly praised by all for their contribution last time and you’d be welcome to join the team. For more details come and see us in the Cabin in the car park on a match day between 1:30 and 2:30 or get in touch through our website.
We now have an online shop on our website selling some of the County memorabilia that has been generously donated. All proceeds go to the Guardian account. Keep an eye out and visit the site regularly as new items will continue to be added. Talking of memorabilia we have been discussing the possibility of creating a County museum and although it is very early days we would welcome your input. Do you have any thoughts as to exhibits you’d like to see? Perhaps you have a treasured piece of County history that you would like to share and would be prepared to temporarily showcase? We ‘d love to hear from you.
There’s so much going on with the Co-op at the moment, there is such a lot to tell you about. Such as the annual 5-a-side tournament being held at the beginning of May, a County night at the Beer Festival in the summer on Thursday 2 June,and the imminent launch of our new online membership system. You’ll have to wait until next time for news on these, or come and see us in the cabin. All that’s left for now is to give you the answer to the trivia question… Peter Willis… you knew that didn’t you…?
01 March 2016 – Stockport County v Hednesford Town:
The Co-op are looking at launching an online shop on the Co-op website as another way of boosting funds. To help with this , the Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative are keen to build up the funds in the Guardian Account which currently stands at £17,800. On Saturday 12th March there will be a quiz night following the Gloucester match in the Bungalow. It starts at 5.30pm and it is £4 to enter per person, or £20 per team. For this fee, every entrant will get a free pie and there will be a prize for every member of the winning team. The evening will be hosted by County fan, Ben Walker, and the questions will range from County history to general knowledge. It should be an excellent night. To take part, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and book your place. All monies raised will go into the Guardian Account.
We are also asking supporters to search their lofts etc for both Replica or match worn shirts, signed Balls, Scarves, badges, old squad photos and other County memorabilia. Please note that 100% of money raised from sales will again go to the Guardian Account. Feel free to drop any memorabilia off, on match days, at the Cabin in the Cheadle End car park between 1.30 and 2.40.
In addition to this, donations for the Co-op charity of the year, the Wellspring, can be also be dropped off at the cabin. Fans have been incredibly generous thus far and the charity are incredibly grateful for everything they have received so far.
In other news, the Board welcome Nick Lee to the team( see photo inset). Nick has been a part of the Young Members working party for the last 12 months and has now been co-opted onto the Board until the 2016 AGM to take ownership of the ‘Engaging Young Members’ role. The Board are very aware of the need to encourage the younger members of our fan base to get involved and Nick will be working hard to make this happen.
The Board also have a few meetings with club officials planned in the next few weeks where they will have the opportunity to address some of the fans concerns that were uncovered from the extensive survey that was conducted last year. Feedback will be communicated to the fan base following on from this. The Board would like to thank the club officials for their co-operation with this.
27 February 2016 – Stockport County v Gainsborough Trinity:
The Stockport County Supporters Cooperative are linked to and receive valuable support from Supporters Direct.
Supporters Direct has been working since 2000 to help supporters gain influence in the running and/or ownership of their clubs. In the past 15 years SD have helped establish Supporters Trusts at over 180 clubs, whilst providing valuable support for 750,000 members of supporters’ trusts in the UK.
Supporters Trusts have now brought well over £40 million of new finance into football and rugby league, and 39 clubs in the UK are now in ownership or in control by supporters’ trusts, including Football League clubs Portsmouth FC, AFC Wimbledon, Exeter City and Wycombe Wanderers.
In addition over 100 supporters’ trusts now have shareholding in their club, and upwards of 70 supporters’ trusts have directors at their clubs
Supporters Direct held their first regional meeting of 2016 at FC United of Manchester’s Broadhurst Park facility in Moston, Manchester on Wednesday 10th February.
Delegates in attendance had a tour of the newly opened Broadhurst Park facility, with business beginning at 7:00pm and closing by 9:30pm.
This North West regional meeting had the overarching theme of fundraising and was aimed at giving trusts and clubs ideas on how to raise capital for projects, provide information on available grant funding as well as talk about long term, consistent, sustainable fundraising schemes.
The evenings headline speaker was an official from Heritage Lottery Grant Funding who promoted discussion on current grant opportunities open to Community Benefit Societies as well as how to successfully apply for funding. The evening also featured a panel of guest speakers from across the trust network ,and Stockport County Supporters Cooperative were delighted to send one of their number to speak at this important gathering. The meeting provided Supporters Cooperative Events Manager Dave Marchbank with an ideal opportunity to address the meeting on the fund raising issue. Dave took the chance to highlight whilst on the subject, the tremendous organisational triumph we pulled off last year with the first Stockport Hatters Half Marathon.
The evening was an excellent chance to get ideas for projects and research possible funding for Supporters Trusts or Community Owned Clubs, as well as a great opportunity to share ideas and network with likeminded groups.
Be aware meanwhile that we are still on the lookout for County Memorabilia, and anything you can root out and hand to us in the Cabin before any home game, will help us build up the Guardian Account.
16 January 2016 – Stockport County v Nuneaton:
CO-OP INTRODUCE NEW BOARD MEMBER
I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is John Giles and I’ve recently joined the Co-op board in November last year, with the intention of helping build the Guardian Account, so the Co-op can positively influence the future of Stockport County. My role will involve working with the board and in particular Dave Marchbank to organise a series of events and fund raising activities.
The Guardian Account was launched in January 2015 and is intended to raise a collectively-owned sum, in genuine, equal partnership with like minded investors. The purpose is to help acquire a stake for supporters in the club and / or secure assets for the benefit of the football club (this could include a stake in Edgeley Park or a new training facility) – in the worst case scenario the Account could be used to fund a phoenix club. The fund currently stands at circa £17,200.
Ideally, I would like the Co-op to purchase Edgeley Park from Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and introduce an Asset Lock to prevent the ground from being sold or borrowed against – securing Edgeley Park for future generations. The Council don’t intend to hold the asset indefinitely and County paying rent to play at their own ground holds the club back financially.
I started working with the Co-op board around October 2014, when I approached them with a proposal for the inaugural Hatters Half marathon. This event took place on 6th September 2015 and has quickly become the Co-op’s flagship event. We are pleased to say the Hatters Half was a great success, with 415 runners entering the race and fantastic feedback was received from runners and local running clubs – a number of whom are including us in their Race Series for 2016.
A figure of £3,633 was raised for the Guardian Account, with a further £3,908 for various charities via sponsorship – including for The Wellspring homeless and resource centre, the Co-op’s charity partner.
This year I will be working with Dave Marchbank to deliver a series of events and fundraising activities. The Hatters Half has already been agreed for Sunday 4th September. We plan a County night on the Thursday night of the Stockport Beer Festival at Edgeley Park – which include appearances from some County greats and a grand raffle! An 11-a-side football tournament on Edgeley Park is being discussed, as well as a 5-a-side tournament at Power League.
If any supporters have any ideas for events or fundraising activities – or can assist the Co-op board, please contact us at email@example.com.
Please read more about The Guardian Account at www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk.
09 January 2016 – Stockport County v AFC Telford:
A warm welcome to AFC Telford and their supporters.
Back in mid-August County secured a narrow 1-0 win against AFC Telford at the New Bucks Head Stadium to make it three wins out of the first three games of the season. County seemed to be flying and our target of promotion seemed very achievable. We now know that the road to promotion is a lot tougher than we thought back then, and we have since had more than our fair share of ups and downs.
But hope springs eternal in County supporters. The cancellation of last week’s scheduled game at Harrogate means that we are undefeated in 2016! More importantly, most of the teams behind us in the table, who had games in hand, failed to cash in on the circumstances and so County remain in (a perhaps slightly precarious) eighth place in the Conference North. All County supporters are hoping that today’s game may provide a launching pad for a concerted drive up the league table for the second half of the season.
One thing that has not been in doubt this season is the tremendous loyalty of the County faithful. Despite a series of disappointing results, we can still pull in 3000+ crowds, more than all except a handful of non-league clubs – and more than quite a few clubs in the Football League.
Another area in which County supporters have been fantastic has been in their response to appeals for help. Volunteers from Help the Hatters have done magnificent work on the upkeep of Edgeley Park and the renovation of the nearby Bungalow Club. The Players Fund, administered by them has, since its inception raised over £25,000 towards County’s playing budget – and there is more to come. County supporters responded brilliantly to the Supporters’ Co-op appeal for help in facilitating and marshalling the very first Hatters Half-Marathon last September which raised several thousand pounds for the Co-op Guardian Account and, through sponsorship, thousands of pounds for charity.
One charity which to Co-op have adopted as our own is the Wellspring Centre which helps local homeless people. At our Boxing Day home game against Harrogate we put out an appeal for contributions of food and other essentials. The response absolutely amazed us – a full van, packed to the roof, was the result of fans’ generosity. Even more, this so inspired one of the club’s Vice-Presidents that he organised another van full – this time of warm clothing. We will be continuing to support the Wellspring in the coming year and are confident that supporters’ generosity will once again rise to the occasion.
A happy, peaceful and prosperous new year to everyone!
On Behalf of the Board of Stockport County Supporters Cooperative.
26 December 2015 – Stockport County v Harrogate Town:
Despite the unseasonally pleasant weather the Supporters Cooperative annual Christmas Cavort took place at The Magnet on Saturday 12 December 2015.
The occasion is of course a useful opportunity to get some pre Xmas conviviality in, but the serious element is that it also serves as a fund raiser in support of Stockport’s magnificent homeless charity the Wellspring, who will again be our chosen charity partner in 2016!
Although numbers were down on last year, when the walls bulged as County Supporters enjoyed the music of the excellent band `Shifty’, it was a terrific night with Shifty in magnificent form once again.
Around £100 was raised towards the Guardian Account and the Wellspring will receive £200 from proceedings, which will be added to the Food Appeal that we are holding in the Car Park before today’s game with Harrogate Town.
A big thank you therefore to Dave Marchbank and John Giles for their efforts in organising this popular event!
Looking ahead to 2016 you will know that, at the request of the Supporters Cooperative, the Club will be staging a Fans Forum in January. We are pressing for a date for this and will advise.
Also in the offing are meetings on Catering and Stewarding at Edgeley Park , so rest assured that these and other issues considered of prime importance by County supporters, will remain our top priority to pursue.
And…as far as events go…..we will be participating in the highly successful Stockport Beer & Cider Festival at Edgeley Park, and we have negotiated a `County Day’ ( the Thursday), and would welcome any ideas on how to pack this with stuff. Already we are looking at a SCAN presentation, but we are open to suggestions.
Oh….and the Stockport Hatters Half Marathon is on again…. on Sunday 4 September , so another magnificent County event with a real community zing about it is to be eagerly awaited.
Stockport County Supporters Cooperative.
05 December 2015 – Stockport County v FC United:
Welcome to Edgeley Park for today’s visit of FC United. Our meeting with FC earlier this season attracted over 3000 to witness County come out as 2-1 winners at Broadhurst Park in what was the first competitive game in their new ground. It was a great atmosphere perhaps boosted by being played under floodlights, and with a large away following expected for today’s game another excellent atmosphere is expected.
The Stockport Branch of the FC supporters club backed the Co-op at this year’s Half Marathon by providing a number of Marshals. The Co-op received excellent feedback from many of the runner’s, particularly regarding the Marshalling of the event, so our thanks to FC and all our own fans, who helped us recruit over 60 Marshalls which were vital in ensuring the success of the event. As well as boosting the Co-ops Guardian Account the event raised over £4,000 for Charity with the Co-ops nominated Charity the Wellspring doing particularly well.
It is perhaps fair to say County have struggled to maintain the form shown at the start of the Season and the Co-op are arranging meetings with the Club to discuss a number of issues raised by the membership.
Perhaps one of the concerns is the lack of goals from the forward line, whilst the issue has been recognised, addressing it has proved problematic. Disciplinary issues have also hit hard and this self inflicted position, has impacted Neal’s ability to retain a settled team. I would like to welcome our two recent loan signings Jony Margetts from Tranmere and Andreas Arestidou from Fleetwood town and hope they both enjoy their stay at Edgeley Park
These notes were written before we played Nantwich in the FA Trophy game, my thoughts are that this was an important game, which as well as providing a chance to progress in a cup competition also provides players another chance to find the net and improve confidence which is so important, this isn’t to underestimate the challenge faced as Nantwich are by all accounts a decent team with a potent front two. Fingers crossed we progressed to the second round.
New Co-op board members
After the recent Co-op AGM i am delighted to welcome three new members onto the Co-op Board welcome John Giles, Ian Brown and Damian Beaumont. Ian will be leading Media and Damian has a wealth of experience in Marketing. John will be working alongside myself on Events and fundraising.
Preparations are well under way for the Co-op Christmas Cavort which takes place in the upstairs function room of the Magnet Freehouse on the A6 on Saturday 12th December Tickets are priced at £8.00 and are available from the Co-op Stall or can be reserved by calling Dave on 07785432562. Last year’s event proved very popular and the event is expected to again sell out, so book your tickets if you want to be there.
Enjoy the game
Co-op Vice Chair
24 November 2015 – Stockport County v Solihull Moors:
As must see events go, the one on Saturday 14 November-the SCAN Reunion of the heroic County 72/73 team was right up there!
For months….nay years ………SCAN , a valued offshoot of the Supporters Cooperative, has worked on bringing this famous group of Cup fighters together and thanks to the efforts of Marcus Heap, Ian Watts and Des Hinks this finally came to pass, fittingly in the adopted home of Stockport County supporters- the Bungalow on Hardcastle Road.
A fantastic effort ensured that 17 players were enticed to Edgeley Park for the game v Tamworth FC, along with family members representing players now sadly no longer with us, and the Supporters Cooperative along with Help the Hatters were happy to make a contribution to the cost of staging this event.
The party of 62 were entertained and enjoyed corporate hospitality before the game, and after they had seen County get substantially Marsdened, went post haste to the Bung where SCAN had plans for them.
The place was packed shortly after 5pm and around 6 the event commenced with Marcus Heap opening proceedings in his inimitable style! No one does this better than Marcus who treats his subject with the respect it deserves.
So ……opening remarks done/dusted Marcus then brought a series of famous faces into the main Bung room. There was an ovation for Johnnie Griffiths that had him beaming happily. John was followed by `the White Pele’ Ian Davidson, then Paul Hart who looked every bit as commanding a figure as he did in his playing and managerial days….right through the 17 they went …all entering and taking their seats in front of the stage, and it was as if the roof might cave in on top of us when Alan Ogley and Hugh Ryden made their entrances, such was the appreciative noise generated by the supporters to greet their heroes!
Marcus got the likes of Alan Ogley, Hugh Ryden, Ray Charter, Paul Hart, Steve Fleet, Johnnie Griffiths, Tommy Spratt and Malc Russell to say a few words and the move proved to be inspirational, with good humour abounding as the team recalled the exploits of 43 years ago. Ray Charter having made the trip from Oz certainly did not waste his few hours back in the spotlight, with a lively and entertaining offering that had the room rocking with laughter, whilst the Russell, Spratt,Ogley combo ( impishly interrupted by Steve Fleet at one point) fed the room tasty anecdote after tasty anecdote that had us all engrossed.
The next part of the evening involved presentations, by the supporters, to the team of 72/73, and each player, or family representative was presented with a wax stamped, framed professionally calligraphered SCAN Certificate. The special presentation to Alan Ogley of an original art work of his West Ham penalty moment, brought more than the odd tear to the odd eye.
Everyone present enjoyed the event and felt it reflected great credit on the Club…the supporters and a very special group of former players.
14 November 2015 – Stockport County v Tamworth:
Today….Saturday 14 November 2015, is another great day in Stockport County’s illustrious history, yes…today sees the Bungalow host a landmark occasion….another landmark occasion-courtesy of the Stockport County Appearance Scheme (SCAN), who have ensured County fans can pay tribute to the heroes from the 1972/73 season as the team will be reunited for the first time in 43 years immediately after today’s game.
Although independent, SCAN roots are within the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative, and we are happy and proud to be supporting the SCAN team in their great work!
When this item was penned SCAN had secured the attention of 15 of that terrific team that saw off West Ham , Crystal Palace amongst others in 72/73, in a League Cup run that thrilled the nation!
Led by Sir Alan Ogley, skipper Tommy Spratt, Mal Russell, Hughie Ryden, Paul Hart, Ian Broomfield, Eddie Garbett, Les Ormrod and Johnny Griffiths , the boys of 72/73 will be back in the Bung after todays game, and they will be joined by family representatives of Ian Lawther, a true County legend from the 1970s.
Ray Charter, meanwhile will jet in all the way from Oz to meet up with his old teammates.
Assistant manager, Steve Fleet, has also confirmed his attendance, and Steve will be joined by family representatives of manager Brian Doyle and coach Jim Mulvaney.
And, to complete the celebrations, Steve Crowther and Tony Keyes will also be present, representing the young County team that ended the 10-year dominance of Everton and Liverpool by gloriously winning the prestigious Lancashire League title in the 1972-73 season.
This special reunion will be held in the Bungalow after todays game – please do your very best to come a long and pay tribute to our history-making heroes.
07 November 2015 – Stockport County v Chorley:
Yes….its that time of year again, and on Thursday 19 November , the 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Stockport County Supporters’ Society Ltd will be held at The Bungalow, Hardcastle Road, Stockport SK3 9DB, at 7:30pm.
As you would expect there will be much to talk about and decide, and there is a packed agenda …..
- Minutes of the 2015 SGM, for approval
- Chairman’s Report
- Treasurer’s Report and accounts for year ending 30 June 2015, for approval
- Approval for the 2015/16 accounts to be independently examined rather than audited
- Appointment of Inspectors of accounts (if Item 5 approved) or re-election of Auditors
- Membership report
- Membership Survey
- Half Marathon / Fundraising report
- Media report
- Community Report
- Any other administrative business
All the above will be followed by a 20 min break ,after which comes item 13…
- Presentation of candidates for election to the Society Board.
The formal AGM will be followed by an informal meeting to discuss the Co-operative’s priorities for 2016.
All the relevant documents have been sent out to members by now, and every effort has been made to encourage new faces to emerge …with new ideas….to galvanise the organisation and help move us forward.
In this respect ,even if you may not have put yourself forward as a candidate for election to the Supporters Cooperative Board, please come to the meeting if you are a member and see how we operate.
As we look towards 2016, you can be assured that, we will continue to represent the interests of County Supporters , but your input is crucial to this process!
See you on the 19th then ?
We hope so!
Stockport County Supporters Cooperative.
24 October 2015 – Stockport County v Bradford Park Avenue:
The Stockport County Co-operatives AGM takes place on Thursday 19th November, at 7.30pm in the Bungalow- details have been sent out to all members.
We are encouraging people to stand for election to the board to help us carry on the work that we’ve been doing so far. Most of the current board are remaining in place but we are always looking for people to help us and for people to bring new ideas to the “table”.
In the 2 years since the Co-op was `re-launched’ the changes have been remarkable , and ,thanks to the donations made by the Players fund, the Supporters Co-op has become a shareholder in our club, thus we now attend the monthly board meetings where ours (and our members) views are expressed and there is genuine interest from the other shareholders in our views and concerns.
We have developed a great partnership with Help the Hatters and undertaken various projects with them and this is something that we intend to carry on and develop over the coming months, and, as a board, we know that it’s the support of our members that enables us to be recognised as “The voice of the fans” , even if sometimes those listening may not like what we’re saying.
Over the coming months we intend to have a concerted membership drive and work is currently taking place to update our systems to make joining the Co-op easier and more “user friendly “. Members will be able to log into their records to update their details, make payments etc In addition we hope that those supporters who are not yet members of the Supporters Co-op will join us and enable us to carry on the work that we’ve been doing.
Full details can be found on our website and from today’s game there will be members of the Co-op board available ,before the game and at half time , at the Supporters Co-op stall at the Cheadle End concourse, to answer any queries that anyone may have.
Enjoy today`s game.
25 April 2015 – Stockport County v Harrogate Town:
Well, here we are at the end of another season. And what a season it has been. We found ourselves yet again facing up to watching sixth-tier football and planning trips to places we needed to look up on Google maps. But, as ever, our story is never quite that simple or straightforward. We also discovered a new depth of stoicism and resolve. Crowds remain exceptional and never before has animo et fide been so fantastically demonstrated by the County family. You don’t have to look far to find evidence of our determination to drag our club out of the mire and return it to a position of strength. Proving that we truly can be Stronger Together!
The Co-op Board is continually conscious of our role as the representatives of the fans. As such, we recently established a working party for our younger supporters to ensure that their voice is heard and that they too are represented by the Board. However, we need to do more to understand ALL those that we are representing. With that in mind, we felt that it was important to find out more about you. Who are you? What are your priorities? We are therefore, conducting a survey. You will find a copy in this programme, there are paper copies being distributed at the game today, and it is available to fill in online at https://eSurv.org?s=LOIJIJ_3f58e74f. Please take the time to complete the survey as it will inform the work of the Co-op over the next year. We will publish the results in time for the start of next season. As a thank you for taking part, we will enter you into a prize draw to win a season ticket for next season! So, get filling them in.
Don’t forget – just because the football is taking a break it doesn’t mean that we are! We have another Band Night at the Bungalow next Saturday and the 5-a-side tournament on the Sunday. There is also an all-day event planned for 4 July at the Bungalow, so watch out for more information on that in the coming weeks. You can keep up-to-date with our events by checking the website, message boards and our articles in the Express.
It would be remiss of me to conclude this article without mentioning Alan Lord. I think I can speak for all County fans when I say ‘thank you Alan’, you are truly County through and through and we appreciate all your hard work and loyalty. We wish you every success in your new role.
Here’s hoping for a great season next time. One thing you can rely on when it comes to County – it’s never dull!
11 April 2015 – Stockport County v Gainsborough Trinity:
A big priority for the Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative for the foreseeable future is to build up the funds in the Guardian Account. This has been set up to secure a sustainable future for Stockport County. The current total in the account is £11,300 and we are keen to increase this amount. As a result, we have arranged some fundraising events which are coming up in the next few months.
The first date for your diary is Saturday 2 May where the Bungalow will be the venue for the next Band Night. The headline act is Ten Eyed Man and they will be supported by Mutha Lovin Chimps. Doors open at 7pm and admission is £5.
On Sunday 3 May the annual five a side football competition takes place. Organised again by Andy Plant, this year’s event once more takes place at the Stockport Powerleague. Entry is £5 per player (max 8 per team), with a £10 non refundable deposit prior to the day to enter a team. Each team will get 45 mins minimum game time, more for those that qualify for knock out rounds. Meet 11.30 for 12 noon start , but be sure to enter your team in advance! All welcome, regardless of ability! Interested? Then contact Andy on firstname.lastname@example.org to enter your team.
Preparations for the Hatters Half Marathon on Sunday 6 September are well under way. Risk assessments have been completed and all the paperwork has been submitted to the relevant councils. Once approval has been granted, it’ll be all systems go. The theme for the day is “the Best of Stockport” and Robinsons have kindly agreed to sponsor the event as have Sweatshop. However the events team are still seeking to attract further investors and packages range from the opportunity to become a headline sponsor to placing an advertisement in the race programme. Interested parties should contact Dave Marchbank on 07785 432562. We will also be needing volunteers to help out on the day to be stationed at various points along the route, handing out water, providing support etc. Alternatively, you might rather take part. So get your trainers on and start training! It should be an amazing day for competitors and spectators alike.
To read more about the Guardian Account or to donate, all the information can be found at the following website: http://www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/guardian-account/
06 April 2015 – Stockport County v Oxford City:
Stockport County Young Supporters Co-operative
Who are we?
Well first and foremost we are a group of youngish county fans who have come together to help out the Co-op and our beautiful football club Stockport County.
What are our aims?
Our aims are to provide more activities for young people as we feel there is very little put on for fans around the 15-21 mark. We also aim to get more young supporters organised and actually attending football matches.
What activities will we be putting on?
We’re looking at many activities to put on in the near future. Whilst still very much in the planning stage at the moment activities such as a darts night, (potentially featuring two well known darts players) a FIFA tournament and tours round the pure studios would be just a few of the activities we are hoping to run in the upcoming months.
What have we done so far?
Whilst the group has only been operating for a short while we have already achieved some of our targets. These completed targets include creating Facebook and Twitter pages to post our content on social media, running an attendance competition online where the closest guess won a free ticket for them and a friend for the Chorley match and getting ourselves in print with an article in the Stockport express.
How can I help?
If you’re interested in helping us achieve our goals please contact the following email address email@example.com.
Or alternatively through our Twitter page @scfccoopyouth
*The Co-op is running a band night on the 2nd of May. Doors open at 7pm and its £5 on the door, hope to see you all there!
By Patrick Knowles
21 March 2015 – Stockport County v Chorley:
An occasional series of Supporters Cooperative- Board Biographies.
Number 1 – Billy Byrne- Membership.
Billy has been supporting County since the early 1970’s, and was taken to his first games by his Auntie and Uncle standing on the Pop side and occasionally the old Cheadle End.
Over the years he has seen some great players play for County , and met some great people, who have become and will remain family friends.
Billy`s favourite player is the great Oshor Williams, a really nice bloke , so typical of the kind of players that we have had over the years at County, good people, true legends and people who will always be remembered and welcomed back by everybody at EP.
To Billy, County isn’t just a football Club; it’s an extended family, a family just like any other where we have fallings out, where we argue, where we disagree but where we all share one common bond and love – Stockport County Football Club. Over the years Billy`s been called a loudmouth (that’s the polite word) but he assures us that he doesn`t mean to be, he just gets so frustrated at the unfairness of what has happened in the past, how avoidable it was.
Gaining election to the Coop Board has not dimmed Billy`s crusading spirit, but he has not neglected the practicalities of life whilst on the Board, playing a major part in liaising with homeless charity the Wellspring forging valuable links with that excellent organisation, whilst working tirelessly to turn around the Cooperatives membership system.
A supporter with the interests of County at heart, Billy feels that the strength of the Coop is a vital ingredient in ensuring proper communication from the Club and greater supporter involvement , which will only be achieved with a unified fan base and the Co-op is the vehicle for that !.
07 March 2015 – Stockport County v Solihull Moors:
The crocuses are in bloom, the daffodils are beginning to peep through and I haven’t had to scrape ice off my windscreen for a while. Could it be the first tentative signs of spring are in the air?
Our club has been through a long dark winter. This season has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride, although that is a great improvement on the recent past few seasons which were more like falling headlong down a mineshaft.
After three disappointing defeats we managed last week to come away with all three points at Brackley. The club have just published their document outlining their vision for the future. I don’t think there is anything in that vision which is not shared by all County supporters. The vision of a stable, sustainable future, the regaining of our stadium’s ownership and success on the field leading to our return to league football, is exactly what fans have been crying out for. There is no doubt that to realise these ambitions there will have to be a great effort on behalf of everyone. This is a battle that will be won by a long, resolute, hard slog rather than a kamikaze charge. But if the club are sincere in the pursuit of these aims I am sure that they will not lack the full backing and assistance from the supporters. Our supporters have already shown what they can do, in the fantastic response to the Players Fund, and the many efforts of Help the Hatters over the season. Given proper leadership there is no limit to what we can achieve together.
I’m sure that the Supporters Co-operative will be playing a full and active role in the realisation of this vision. The fact that the Co-op will be able to send a representative to meetings of County’s board will be a golden opportunity for a mutual exchange of views and will give fans a real voice in the running of the club. And the Co-op will ensure that it is genuinely a two-way process – as well as offering support for progress towards the document’s objectives we will also, if appropriate, be sounding the alarm if any of the stated targets look likely to be missed – although hopefully that won’t be necessary.
I may be wrong, but Is that a ray of sunshine I’ve just seen?
Pete Towey, Supporters Cooperative Chairman.
24 February 2015 – Stockport County v Barrow:
It is no secret that for weeks now members of Help the Hatters and the Supporters Cooperative have been spending vast amounts of time and shed loads of energy `doing up’ the Bungalow Club on Hardcastle Road (see below), the object being to turn the place into somewhere that County supporters would feel comfortable spending time in before and after a match!
If you have not been in lately, why not give it a try- the transformation, not yet complete, is dramatic.
The Bungalow is rapidly becoming the place to be especially pre match where the welcoming atmosphere is helping to fill the place.
And it just gets better….. as on this Friday 6 February 2015, sensational Stockport headline band `Blossoms’ are performing a warm up gig prior to their World Tour which starts in Kansas USA and Japan!
On Friday Blossoms are supported by the fast rising Mantells who are making their second visit to the venue. These are two hugely popular groups and the expectation is that the event will be a sell out. Admission is just £5, and its payment at the door, with the gig commencing at 7.30 p.m- so avoid disappointment and get there early!
That`s Friday sorted then…..and Saturday 7 February, immediately after the game against Stalybridge, the Bungalow plays host to the SCAN 64/65 Reunion event to honour the County F.A. Cup heroes from that epic season, so why not head off inside the Bungalow after the game!
Amongst the players confirmed as attending are Ken Mulhearn, Ian Sandiford, Derek Hodgkinson, Mike Harold, Peter Phoenix, and representatives of the families of Trevor Porteous, Frank Beaumont, Groundsman Harold Allcock, and most poignantly ,John Nibloe. Sadly despite SCAN`s best efforts no family member of the late Len White could be found, but even at this late stage they are still trying!
So……2 events on two consecutive days…..both not to be missed for County fans….see you there!
14 February 2015 – Stockport County v Hyde FC:
I’m writing this article still buzzing after what has been a great County weekend, I never thought beating Stalybridge would mean much to me, but winning with an added time goal after what was not a great performance was strangely satisfying.
The biggest pluses of the weekend though were a couple of examples of what sets County fans apart.On the Friday night I attended the latest of what are fast becoming legendary band nights,where two really good local bands The Mantells and Blossoms played to a sold out Bungalow,in a warm up gig organised by Help the Hatters and the Supporters Cooperative. Both bands seem destined for great things and , they put on a terrific show, and it was well worth the fiver even if it was just to see Phil Robbie dancing.
The Bungalow is now a more than decent venue for events like this following all the hard work by a group of volunteers sprucing the place up. Following the game there was another absolutely brilliant event organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a memorable FA Cup run in 1964/65 season, when County were eventually knocked out by the reigning champions Liverpool. Marcus Heap and the SCAN team did a superb job in arranging this and it was quite an emotional event with so many players from that squad and relatives of players who could not be with us making the effort to attend.
Both of these events were organised not by the club but by the fans and shows what we can achieve if we put our minds to something, these things alone won’t get us back to where we all feel we belong but they do strengthen us as a club and doing anything positive has to be better than doing nothing, so again if you’ve not joined the Co-op yet what are you waiting for? Come and see us at half time at our stall in the Cheadle End or check out our website.
Today I’ll be joined at the match by my Sister in law Hanne, her husband Jacob and their daughter Katara who have flown in from Copenhagen, some years ago we bought Katara now aged 7 a County hat, I honestly didn’t expect it to get used a great deal but she regularly wears it and today will be the first time she will have actually seen her team play, I really hope she still wants to wear the hat afterwards.
07 February 2015 – Stockport County v Stalybridge Celtic:
One thing that is most noticeable, and agreeable about clubs in the Conference North, is the number of them that have a sound community base.
They know that a club without such links is a rudderless ship on the harshest of seas…a potential victim to fates slightest whim!
The Supporters Cooperative appreciate the value of roots in the community, hence their successful action to gain Edgeley Park `Asset of Community Value’ status!
Then….in November ,we cooperated with Help the Hatters to stage a `Community Bonfire’ on the swiftly changeing site of the Bungalow, on Hardcastle Road.
We now want to go further ,and get involved in the Stockport community, therefore we will be forming a band of ` Community Volunteers’, who will be tasked to do small jobs of worth to the locality……a bit of a clean up here……some help with something there.
The initiative is being spearheaded by Supporters Cooperative Board member Paul Charnock, who has form on the issue, being a constant inspirational presence on the Help the Hatters Working Parties!
So…..are you interested?
Are you up for the challenge?
If so get in touch with Paul….have a word if you see him in and around Edgeley Park….or e mail him on……
We have also talked about staging a road race in the Borough….the Hatters Half Marathon, in September of this year.
This is in the early planning stages just now pending an application to the local Council, but if it comes to pass this will be a great community event bringing attention and credit to the town , our great Club, and the Supporters Cooperative.
John Giles is doing much of the spade work in the early stages of this venture, we thank him for his efforts thus far, and look forward to passing on further information when it becomes available.
Together we are stronger, and can achieve much !
Stockport County Supporters Cooperative.
04 October 2014 – Stockport County v Gloucester City:
Firstly, on behalf of Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative a very warm welcome back to what should be a buzzing Edgeley Park. There is still a long way to go in the season but its great to be involved at the right end of the table (as well as a cup run)! This warm welcome is also extended to all associated with Gloucester City FC. We hope you have an enjoyable trip and can enjoy the hospitality of Stockport County and the surrounding area.
This week saw the Co-op host our Open Meeting at the Fingerpost. This article had to be submitted prior to this event but I’m sure the Q&A session posed a few challenging questions to Alan Lord and other representatives from Stockport County. We thank them for their time, commitment and courage as well as the Fingerpost for the use of their facilities. A summary of the meeting will be made available on our website http://www.countysupporterscoop.co.uk/ together with an update in the next match programme.
Whenever I attend sporting events overseas I wonder what we in the UK could take & learn from the experience. Recently I had the great pleasure to attend my first German football match between FC St. Pauli v SV Sandhausen who both play in the second tier of the Bundersliga.
As part of our Football League legacy we are treated to an all-seater stadium at EP together with a stringent safety certificate. This prevents us from enjoying what other counterparts of this league enjoy such as standing or enjoying a pint while watching the game.
Over in Hamburg it was a Friday evening at the home of FC Pauli, the Millerntor Stadion. Outside we were greeted by a number of food and drink concessions. Despite the mass consumption of the local brew (Astra) there was no obvious polizei in attendance. This also extended to inside the ground and continued after the game.
When we entered the ground it was rocking with over 21000 fans in suburb vocal harmony & stunning visual array of flags. The construction of the stadium is terraced to allow for over half the fans to stand.
Within the ground there were still plenty of places to buy alcoholic or non-alcoholic refreshments at very reasonable prices.
Some would now have you believe that would be the perfect cauldron for mass unrest. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fans were impeccably behaved.
In the UK football fans are treated somewhat as second class citizens. It was only last season Stockport County, our first season in part-time regional football (during the modern era!), managed to negotiate the removal of a costly police presence.
Why is it so different in Germany – Is this because fans there are treated as civilised people, is it “just a culture thing” or are the two interlinked? The times of social oppression and long queues at labour centres, that fostered so much trouble, are over. Despite this being back in the 70s & 80s it still has an impact on the football fan attending a game today.
Isn’t it time football fans & clubs alike are allowed to be taken of the leash & be treated with as much respect as others in society?
Yours, Stockport County Supporters’ Co-operative
16 September 2014 – Stockport County v Worcester City:
As usual the Stockport County Supporters Cooperative have been busy working hard on behalf of the Clubs supporters recently.
Coming soon, and now being organised is the Cooperatives A.G.M., which will give the chance for a fresh face or two to maybe join those already on the Coop Board. Full details of venue / date etc will follow soon.
The Cooperative met this week with representatives of the Club to discuss matters of importance to supporters. A full report on this meeting will be posted on Coop website soon.
We have also produced some merchandise , in time for Xmas, which you can now buy.
Postage & packaging details are given below, but this charge is waived if you collect in person from our stall on match days.
Co-op Mug £5 + P&P:
Co-op Coasters (set of four) £8 + P&P:
Co-op Key ring £5 + P&P:
Co-op Car Window Sunscreens (set of two) £8 + P&P
Co-op Phone covers (for a variety of phones) £7 + P&P:
Remember you can pick up orders free at our stall on match days. Or alternatively the postal charges are as follows:
|Item||Weight||UK 1st||UK 2nd||Europe||Zone 1||Zone 2|
We can combine items and work out the cost on a per order basis.
If you have any merchandise ideas then please feel free to contact us using our contact form on our website. or using the above email addresses.
13 September 2014 – Stockport County v Boston United:
In these days of cut…cut….and cut again, and with charities as a consequence constantly struggling to exist, we are all used by now, to regular collections at football grounds.
Today I hope that you will respond positively if someone from The Wellspring, Stockport shakes a bucket in your direction, the Wellspring being a fantastic supporter of the homeless in Stockport ,which is deserving of your support.
That is why Stockport County Supporters Cooperative have moved to forge closer links with this excellent Stockport Charity. The recent alert issued due to supplies of coffee running low at The Wellsprings, Harvey Street base, gave us the opportunity to try and help in a small way, and through the response of County fans, we were able to do just that.
Since 1991 the Wellspring has existed to support Stockport`s homeless, and is open 365 days a year, offering food and valuable support to around 120 vulnerable people every day, along with clothing, advice + study options, medical support via an NHS doctor, and much more. It all costs money, hence the constant need for appeals.
If you think you can help, with a donation of money or food, or if you want to volunteer , why not visit the Wellspring website http://www.thewellspring.btck.co.uk or ring 0161 477 6344 or email : firstname.lastname@example.org
It is such a worthy cause, so watch out for occasional bulletins from the Supporters Cooperative on the subject.
Meanwhile….the Supporters Cooperative stall is situated at the top of the steps at the Cheadle End just inside the bar, and it will be there every game this season, why not seek us out and get that nagging question that`s been bothering you for so long answered….or better still fill in an application form…join us!
Oh……and the Wellspring is at PO Box 456, Harvey Street, SK1 1WZ, so keep them in mind too, or better still text SCFC14£1 to 70070 to send them a quid!
30 August 2014 – Stockport County v Lowestoft Town:
Stockport County Supporters Cooperative hit the ground running on Saturday before the 3-1 win against Bradford Park Avenue.
It was the occasion of the first Supporters Coop stall at Edgeley Park ( there will be one every game near the bar at the top of the Cheadle End staircase).
The mission was to raise awareness about the Coop and attract more members( membership currently circa 600)-, and many leaflets were taken by supporters, and their questions answered .
Additionally and central to the day`s activities was a collection of coffee, on behalf of the Wellspring, Stockport who do such wonderful work for Stockport`s homeless. The Charity was short of the reviving beverage, and the Coop therefore swung quickly into action upon hearing about this.
So did the fans who enabled us to hand over to the Wellspring 1000 tea bags, 16 jars of Coffee and 6 bags of sugar, with cash sufficient to facilitate a second delivery very soon after!
The Wellspring were delighted and wanted to make sure their thanks were passed on to County supporters
Yet another example of supporters acting together making a difference…..
Be sure to seek the Supporters Coop stall out at the next home match….grab a leaflet……ask a question…..find out about us!
23 August 2014 – Stockport County v Bradford Park Avenue:
You may have noticed that the Co-op Board is not normally slow in coming forward in the County cause and the way we swung into action in response to last week’s off/on commentary saga at Tamworth is evidence of this.
Yet, behind the public image of the Co-op a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes to make sure things run smoothly and that we communicate properly with our members and the rest of the County world.
At the Board’s monthly meeting, we deal with the routine stuff such as the Treasurer’s report and an update on the membership position, and then go on to hear from those Board members who lead on the various areas of our activities. Small groups – each with a named lead person – are responsible for media/communications; events/fundraising; and community. There are also sub-committees for particular issues, such as the Guardian Fund – a long term project for raising sums large enough to put us in a position of influence.
There are inevitably important issues on the agenda for us to discuss and decide upon – current examples are the Players Fund and the Guardian Fund. Whilst always being ready to respond to events as they happen, we also have to think ahead and start to develop long term plans because we believe the Co-op can have a big role to play in restoring County’s fortunes.
We try to develop and maintain links with other organisations, especially the Club and Help the Hatters. Board members also spend time meeting with a variety of groups and individuals who may be able to make a contribution to our work, whether it’s practical or financial.
We are fortunate in having the assistance of a number of Co-op members who willingly offer their skills as well as their valuable time, and we are extremely grateful to them for their contribution to our work and their help in making the lives of Board members a little less hectic. Members are kept informed by email about issues of the day and there are regular newsletters to update them on Co-op activity as a whole. We have arranged a number of members’ meetings and the AGM is scheduled for later in the year when there will be places on the Board up for election.
One of our priorities is to improve our membership levels and, with this in mind, look out during the course of season for the Co-op stall inside Edgeley Park, where members and non-members alike can come and talk to us before the game and find out more about the Co-op.
9 August 2014 – Stockport County v North Ferriby:
As a new season starts we are all very much hoping that this will be the one when our fortunes change for the better.
Off the field, too, there could be good times ahead. This time last year, supporters groups, after a series of meetings to discuss the worrying situation at the club, decided on the need for a common voice. The notion of “stronger together” took hold, with people coming to realise that the Co-op offered the way forward. Minutes of a fans group meeting urged all supporters to join the Co-op “as the best vehicle.”
At the same time the Co-op and Help the Hatters were coming closer, despite views in some quarters that they were incompatible. By means of common sense and mutual trust the two organisations found that they could work side- by-side, each making a positive contribution and offering fans different ways to express their support for County.
Fast forward twelve months to the Players Fund, with Help the Hatters overseeing the money side and the Co-op getting the opportunity to own shares in the Club – an arrangement both groups are comfortable with.
Of course, a lot a lot more has happened in the intervening period. The Co-op successfully applied to the Council to have Edgeley Park declared an Asset of Community Value so that it can’t be sold over our heads. A new energetic Board has come in, raising funds through successful social events.
Relationships with the Club are now on a sound basis but without any compromise to our independence or our ability to represent the views of the supporters. In the pipeline is a major fund, fully safeguarded, that will aim to raise sums large enough to give supporters a voice in County’s future.
It’s been a hectic twelve months but there’s a lot more still to be done and some important long-term issues to be addressed.
If the achievements of the past year could be summed up in one sentence it would be this: Stockport County supporters now have the confidence to work together and make a difference.
26 November 2016 – Stockport County v Bradford Park Avenue (FA Trophy Qualifying Round 3):