Matchball Sponsors' thanks for great afternoon.
Over the five years that Colchester United, the matchday hospitality on offer at the Weston Homes Community Stadium has proven to be a popular one. At Port Vale, Season Ticket holder Keith Lovell was given a special surprise by his family and he tells us all about it...
Unbeknownst to me my family had arranged an extraordinary package in celebration of my forthcoming 70th birthday.
As a Col U supporter for 60 years now, the experience was one that could not have been envisaged when I first saw the U’s way back in the early 1950s soon after they had gained admission to the Football League.
Hospitality of any kind was difficult at the much loved Layer Road ground.....but has now risen to quite sublime heights at Weston Homes as I was going to discover.
The Club’s Sales Executive, Julie Ager, appeared and began to escort us round every available section of the Community Stadium – from the changing and medical rooms to the Colchester United in the Community section and Robbie Cowling’s entertaining area.
We were then taken to the restaurant area and told by Julie that we would be having a three course meal there, after which we would watch the match from a Matchday Experience Hospitality Box. I remained pretty gobsmacked.
I then wondered, 'What next?', only to be told that I was the Match Ball sponsor for the day and also had the responsibility of choosing the Man of the Match.
I was happy to select one of our more recent cult heroes, Jabo Ibehre, to whom after the match I had the duty of presenting him with his champagne. He then presented me with a football signed by all the players and, with the U’s winning 1-0 against the Valiants... What a day!
We were treated like ‘lords and ladies’. The facilities throughout showed me how obvious it must be to players who look at the possibility of transferring to Colchester United that we are indeed a Club with high aspirations – a Club that now has resources far better than many clubs in the Championship as well as the lower divisions.
Facilities that are available for hire for conferences and private bookings during the week and indeed go a long way to making it a true Community Stadium.
UP THE U’S! And yes indeed, COL U 'TIL I DIE!