Sun, 15 Jul 2018
THERE’S been a lot of talk of football coming home recently, but the weekend saw Thatcham Town FC bring their greatest achievement home.
Fans gathered at Waterside Park on Sunday as the club celebrated its historic season by hosting an open day.
Last season saw the Kingfishers crowned Hellenic League champions and culminated in them lifting the FA Vase trophy in front of 12,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in May.
Top scorer Shane Cooper-Clark’s 20th minute penalty, his 62nd goal of the season, was enough to see the Kingfishers record a 1-0 victory in the final.
At the open day on Sunday, fans were able to relive the moment that the club lifted the trophy and have their picture taken with the FA Vase.
The family-friendly day was packed with children’s pocket money games, a barbecue, sweet cart, ice cream van and a bar.
Thatcham mayor Jan Cover read a short message from her predecessor Ellen Crumly, who attended the cup final.
Mrs Cover then read a poem that she had written especially for the club’s day at Wembley and told visitors how the Kingfishers had made the town proud.
It concluded: “You have won so well, well done. You have made us proud, and I for one, am shouting it out loud.”
She then presented club chairman Eric Bailey with a commissioned certificate made by Thatcham Town Council.
The document features the hand-painted logos of the club and town council, demonstrating the partnership that the two organisations have forged.
The certificate also features the line ‘Kingfishers, you made your town proud’.
Speaking on the club’s achievement, Mrs Cover said: “It’s something locally that we should be very proud of. I think it’s absolutely super.”
Mr Bailey thanked Mrs Cover and said the certificate would hang in the clubhouse for all to see.
Mr Bailey then presented Rosemary Appeal trustee David Ball with a cheque for £800, which was raised from Thatcham’s friendly game against Basingstoke, played before the FA Vase final.
Mr Bailey said: “I think it worked quite well. It was quite a hot day, but we had quite a few people turn up.
“The council made their presentation to us and we also made one ourselves.
“[The poem] was a nice personal touch.
“We’re very grateful to the mayor for attending and the previous mayor who was with us at Wembley.
“It’s been a great time and will live in the memory for a long, long time.
“The fan base has increased locally and we’re also going have a [youth] development team this year.”
Mr Ball thanked the club and community before explaining that £4.8m had now been raised for the appeal to build state-of-the-art cancer-care facilities and a renal dialysis unit at the West Berkshire Community Hospital.
He also mentioned that the dialysis unit would admit its first patients “very soon” and invited Mrs Cover to go and see the unit the very next day.