Hitchin Town are delighted to announce two new additions to their management committee. Stewart Curtis and Paul Sprague have been rewarded for the tremendous work they have undertaken on behalf of the club in the last few years. Matt Furniss was also invited to join the management committee but because of family and business pressures was unable to do so at this time. Hopefully Matt will return in the future and we know he will still be available to offer any advice should it be required and we thank him for all the hard work he invested in the social media operation.

Stewart was an occasional visitor to Top Field with his father as a child but first got involved in helping the club with Non-League Day in October 2017. He then got fully involved in the social media side of the club and rebuilt our website. Apart from heading the social media team, Stewart was instrumental in securing the Hummel kit agreement and is also pursuing other avenues on behalf of the club. Stewart made the following comment to me:

“I’ve really enjoyed being involved in various projects over the past five or so years, including one-off events, the website project and the social media management – especially working with the fantastic and dedicated team we have behind the scenes. I initially got involved for a small task and it has lured me in ever since – something I’m sure the majority of the volunteers across Non-League can relate to. These are exciting times for Hitchin Town FC and I’m honoured and delighted to have been asked to join the Committee and play my part.”

Paul made occasional visits to Top field over the years and in 2018 started to attend more regularly as his friend Matt became more involved in the club. In August 2019 Paul joined the social media team to help out Stewart and Matt. He has subsequently got heavily involved in the ground improvements at Top Field. On his appointment Paul said:

“Over the course of the last year my involvement in the club has continued to grow particularly as I took on several responsibilities during the Crowdfunder campaign and subsequent ground improvements. I have really enjoyed the teamwork and dedication shown by all those involved with the club and I am excited to formalise my additional responsibilities by joining the committee at such an exciting and positive time for the club.”

Managing director Andy Melvin said that Stewart, Paul and Matt had provided the club with a breath of fresh air. Their hard work and innovation had modernised and increased the club’s profile. He felt adding younger members with modern thinking would further improve the balance of an already successful committee and he was very optimistic about the future. Chairman Terry Barratt was also delighted to welcome Stewart and Paul on to the management committee having been impressed by their achievements He said that their appointment only added to the positivity around Hitchin Town FC.

We are sorry that we were unable to open on the 12th April but are pleased to confirm that we are looking forward to serving you all on the 17th May (Boris permitting).

Loyal patrons of the Canary Club might well be wondering whether the essential attention currently being applied to the ground is being completed at the expense of the clubhouse. Everyone will be aware that both areas have been in need of attention for many years and the fact that the groundwork has taken centre stage for the last few months does not mean that the Clubhouse is being forgotten – far from it.

What’s happening? Well, we are confident that finally the roof issues have been resolved and that the leaks which have plagued us for so long are a thing of the past. Now that we are confident that the place is watertight we can replace the old suspended ceiling in the hall and create a comfortable and appealing area for our patrons as well as external functions.

Work on replacing the old ceiling and lighting starts next Monday.

The leaking roof, together with the long closure of the premises during lockdown had another most unwelcome result. The wooden flooring in the hall expanded beyond anything that has happened in the past and this has necessitated lifting and relaying much of the surface. Another unwelcome expense, but essential nonetheless and hopefully with a professional sanding and varnish, the outcome will be a further improvement to the hall for all users.

We hope that a fresh coat of paint where it’s needed, will also refresh the old place and encourage our regulars to visit us again come 17th May.

Social distancing and covid restrictions remain but at least we won’t have to sit outside in the cold and wet and it’s still around a pound less a pint than most public houses in Hitchin!

Our steward Simon Edwards who was adopted as a child, saw his life change last month when he tracked down his birth father – who happened to be the legendary boxing commentator ‘Colonel Bob’ Sheridan, whose net worth is said to be £200m. Since then Simon has been the centre of media attention and I interviewed him to get the whole amazing story. The story moved on again this week when a TV crew spent the day following Simon including filming on the Top Field pitch.

Simon had phoned me at the weekend asking if it would be possible for him to be filmed at Top Field. He explained it was the mammoth German TV company NTL that would be making a programme on him. RTL have a turnover of 6,017 million euros and operate 68 TV channels and are much bigger than ITV. It was an easy decision to allow RTL access and as the filming was on Wednesday it coincided with the Under 18 game against Stevenage.

The TV company arrived at Simon’s home at 11.00am and interviewed him in his garden. There was a break in the afternoon when the TV crew worked on a story about the Queen’s 85th birthday–how often have stories about the Queen and Hitchin Town FC been side by side!!

At 4.30pm the crew came to Top Field where Simon was filmed on the pitch before then going in to the club office where the TV company set about creating a live video link up with Simon’s father Colonel Bob who was in Las Vegas. The technology was mind boggling with Germany also involved in the link. After overcoming a number of technical issues the interview proceeded. I was actually in the office and I can confirm Simon did a great job in mentioning Hitchin Town FC as much as possible. We had also put items of Hitchin memorabilia to be in the shot with Simon so our profile was on display to the TV audience. Simon said to his dad he wanted to bring him to Top Field and the Colonel said he would hope to be accompanied by a famous boxer. The Colonel certainly seemed a character and if the visit to Top Field happens it would generate great interest in HTFC.

The final port of call for the TV crew was the Rose and Crown where further filming took place with Simon and a number of his friends and cricket colleagues. Simon remains totally down to earth despite the huge media interest and he continues to promote HTFC at every opportunity.

An extremely busy week in the academy this week with a total of 4 games being scheduled.

The first of which was Tuesday evening as we hosted a friendly at Top Field against a youthful MK Dons Academy team. It was a great evening for the players as we ended up winning the game 1-0 with a second half goal from substitute Ollie Trott on his debut for us after an unbelievable bit of skill from Anthony Georgiou. The game was also filmed by Eddy Reilly and if you have not seen the skill already it’s definitely worth a watch!

Wednesday afternoon we also hosted EMC Academy in the SCL East Division again at Top Field. Unfortunately this game ended in a 3-2 win for the visitors with goals for us coming from Kai Dawson and Matthew Morton. A disappointing first half saw us come in at 3-1 down and despite dominating the second half we only manage to score 1 goal.

Our next SCL league game is away to Heritage Academy on Friday 23rd April.

Wednesday evening we hosted a very strong and experienced Stevenage FC Academy team 24 hours after our brilliant win and performance against MK Dons Academy. The game was another great experience and performance from everyone involved with many carrying heavy legs from the night before against a very fresh Stevenage team. Stevenage eventually went on to win 1-0 after a goal from a set play. Our players have been superb this week and can definitely come away with their heads held high.

Both evening games were also broadcast on our very own by Freddie and Marac. If you want to listen back then you can on the Canary Club Podcast.

It was round two of Division E of the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League on Sunday 18th April 2021 and our first team played our reserves. From what I heard from the podcast it was an even game with both teams showing their strengths. It was the Reserves that came out on top in this first of two fixtures. Allen scored three and Harrower one for the reserves. The first team goals were scored by Logan, Darling and Shackle.

On the behalf of Hitchin Town Ladies FC I would like to thank HTFC for hosting the match at what was described as glorious Top Field. I also want to thank HTFC Radio who gave commentary throughout this game. We are proud to be a part of such a club that takes pride in giving opportunities to all to play football or even be a part of Hitchin Town FC. Hopefully the next game at Top Field we can welcome spectators.

The next round of fixtures are on Sunday 25th April 2021.

  • Hitchin Belles FC v HTLFC Firsts at Priory School, Hitchin
  • HTLFC Reserves v Herts Vipers Development, Ransoms Recreation Ground, Hitchin

Last week, I thanked several football clubs for their support with a project at Top Field and just two days later, Newcastle United also provided assistance. With that said, I would like to thank the Magpies for joining the six other clubs who have been so helpful and kind; it really is much appreciated.

Aside from this news, I am busy sorting through, laminating and framing the artwork we have been kindly given by the pupils of local schools; it will be a great addition to Top Field next season. I am also developing a calendar of events which will ensure we have key activities and initiatives happening throughout the year. I will keep you updated with this.