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A Day To Remember

19 August 2013

Matchball Sponsors' thanks for great afternoon.

Whether it's a day out with the lads, or a special occasion, fans of all ages have given our hospitality a try. 

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...

During the close season I submitted an article for the series that was being put together by Matt Hudson under the heading of ‘Why I’m on Board!’ This duly appeared on the Club website.

I was staggered when I knew this had been lifted to appear on page 54 of the Matchday Magazine for our recent home game against Port Vale. I was soon to find out the reason for this!

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.

Under somewhat false pretences, I was led into the Club Shop by my wife and my younger son and daughter-in-law where, my other son and daughter-in-law appeared with my sister and three nephews from behind a rack full of shirts.

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.

The experience continued with the presentation of a wonderful birthday cake in the shape of a club shirt, with home colours and the name 'LOVELL' and the figure '70' on the back.

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!

My gratitude to my family is huge for the considerable amount of money they parted with to give me such a wonderful present, but what also impressed me was the continued friendly and family nature of the Club.

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.

In so many, many ways I count it a privilege to be a Season Ticket holder with the U’s and it was great to see everything properly from the 'inside'.  

However, the match on Friday 23rd August against Carlisle United at 7.45pm will see me brought down to earth once more. I shall, equally happily be back with the chanting in South Stand, behind the goal, in my usual seat in the back row – S2-T38!

.If you'd like to follow Keith in sampling our excellent matchday hospitality, please contact our Commercial Team on 01206 752020 or e-mail commercial@colchesterunited.net

UP THE U’S! And yes indeed, COL U 'TIL I DIE!

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