Kings Langley & 50 / 50 Draw Prize

The winning ticket worth £102.50 was claimed on an emotional day against Kings Langley in front of a large crowd remembering Cody. The profits from the draw were put towards The Cody23 Community Fund – https://crowdfunder.co.uk/p/cody-23 and with other donations we received, we put £200 towards the fund.

“Our football club is at the heart of the community and nothing shows this more clearly than the events that unfolded on Boxing Day. One of our own, Cody Fisher, was savagely taken away from us, totally needlessly, at the young age of 23. The whole football community has come together to show their support, and the club has received messages from every level of the game. Stratford Town supporters add their support and condolences to family and friends of Cody. Our thoughts remain with Cody’s family and friends and we will all miss his smiling face around the club. RIP Cody.”

As previously stated, the club does so much right off the pitch – moving tributes from Jed and the players, inviting volunteers to the blessing on Thursday night to join the board, staff and players as the Stratford Town family came together as one. On the day, temporarily closing down at 2.50 to give the chance for staff and volunteers to pay their respects to Cody witnessing the Guard of Honour by St Gregorys School, where Cody coached, and pupils taking the framed retired No 23 shirt into the centre circle. The Bards players all wore Cody 23 tops and a minutes silence was impeccably observed before the game and on 23, the match was stopped and a minutes applause was held with a tribute on the electronic scoreboard. A commemorative matchday programme was on sale, given away to those arriving early – some of whom were willing to make a donation via us for Cody’s fund. Also, top marks to the ground staff for enabling the game to be played despite very heavy rain on the morning of the game and even heavier driving rain in the 2nd half which saw fans scampering for cover.

A new name was in the starting XI, defender Hamilton Bunga who joins us from Rushden and Diamonds. Striker Karnell Chambers has also re-joined according to the league website. Redditch United have announced they have singed Martin Riley, Ashley Sammons who recently left has re-joined Halesowen and Jack Storer is now playing in Gibraltar for Bruno’s Magpies.

At half-time The Bards were 1 point from safety – at the end of the game, Bards were 7 points adrift after conceding 2 in the last 10 minutes. After being on top but missing chances, Bards had the ball in the net with a wind assisted in-swinging ‘cross’ from Josh Hawker going straight in on 45 and then immediately after, Mikey rattled the bar. Akubuine had a 1 on 1 chance on 57 but had his shot saved as The Bards remained on top but the game changed after subs were made up front. The visitors came more into the game as Bards sat deeper and levelled on 80 with a curling shot low into the corner. The winner coming from ex-Bard Ken Feyi with 3 to go after Bards fail to clear. More on the club match report – photos (including pre-match and 23rd minute) in club gallery

We’ll see you for the 2 home games – Leiston on Saturday 21st who are the only side we haven’t played yet and going for promotion and Redditch Tuesday 24th who we drew 2-2 away with earlier in the season conceding 2 very late goals. Bards have 3 home wins out of 3 against Leiston – 3-2, 3-1 and a 2-1 last season but it may be a lot different this time with both sides at opposite ends of the table. Bards and Redditch have been in the same division since Bards were promoted 8 years ago and Bards have 5 wins and a 4-2 defeat at home. Last 2 seasons have ended in 2-1 wins. Before then, we have an away game at Royston on Saturday 14th still looking for our first away league win.

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At home games, we’ll be in our usual spot by the Tuck Shop selling our 50 / 50 tickets (average prize this year around £70), the excellent revamped programme, hats and scarves and will have membership forms with us if supporters would like to join on the day – it only costs £10 for adults a year. This year purchasers of 50 / 50 tickets are able to claim 10% off Car Servicing and have MOT’s for just £40 at Arden Garages when they present their ticket. Arden Garages have also helped to fund the cost of printing the tickets saving the The Supporters Association money.

We welcome volunteers to join us as and when supporters are available. The draw has been a tremendous success in raising thousands of pounds towards club projects over the last few years, so we would really appreciate your ongoing help and support on a matchday

Please could you let Jim or Chris Simpson know if you would be available to offer your time at any stage – either at the game or by emailing stratfordtownISA@gmail.com

DW – any views are those of the author

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