Worcestershire Supporters' Association celebrate seven decades
Worcestershire Supporters’ Association are celebrating seven decades of providing financial support for Worcestershire CCC – including the purchase of Blackfinch New Road for the club.
The Association has raised millions of pounds since its formation in 1951, providing assistance in helping Worcestershire CCC to survive and thrive on and off the field at various times with its timely backing.
Terracing, scoreboards, various buildings including the Ladies Pavilion and Marquee, ground maintenance support, flood damage repairs, financing and running a ‘club’ shop, critical funds in cash-strapped times and grants for players to undertake winter coaching have been funded by the Association.
Two of the stands at New Road are named not after many of the famous ex players who have graced the county but key members of the Association in Bob Brookes and Pat-Ken Mills in recognition of their work spanning many years.
But perhaps the most important contribution of all happened in 1976 when, after paying the annual ground rent for 21 years, the Association bought New Road from landlords Worcester Cathedral Dean And Chapter for the county.
Today the Association’s relationship with the county club is strong and healthy – and they remain as committed as ever to raising funds and lending support to a wide range of projects.
Current Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “The Association was a pioneering venture when it was set up all those years ago.
“Of course, we recognise the financial landscape within cricket has changed and, with the professional set-up of the club now and the financial support of the ECB, the funds required from the Association are not as major as in past times.
“The club from this year are also running and staffing the club shop and, if they generate lots more money, we will be delighted because that will benefit Worcestershire CCC.
“But we are still keen to play as active a role as possible in raising funds for the Ground Improvement Fund which over many, many years has provided millions of pounds for the club.
“When you think back, purchasing New Road was a massive project but if you look around the ground there are many other reminders of what the Association have contributed like the ladies pavilion, the old scoreboard, the wicket covers, the groundsman’s tractor, two stands, the marquee etc
“Local cricket clubs and schools have also benefitted from grants given them by the Association.
“We are still going, everyone on the committee is a die hard Worcestershire CCC supporter, and we will continue to do all we can to add to raise monies to aid the club in any way they want us to help.
“These are challenging times (COVID-19) but we have an excellent relationship with Fanos Hira (Chairman) and David Hoskins (Commercial Manager) – an off the field team the Association are confident are leading the club in the right direction.”