Our third monthly online 50/50 draw has just gone live and the first 100 tickets were quickly snapped up. You can purchase tickets online by clicking here.

An update on the amounts raised and won so far can be viewed here. The draw will take place on Wednesday 3rd June at 7:45pm. Thanks in advance for any support you can give.

The news of Fred’s death came after last week’s bulletin had been completed and I would like to add my tribute to a much missed colleague. In my role of treasurer I had very good cause to be very thankful to Fred for the work he did after taking over our commercial department. He somehow managed to dramatically increase our sponsorship income and was always a pleasure to deal with as he was so professional and obviously formed very good relationships with our sponsors.

Fred was very much ”old school” and proud of it. He had good old fashioned values and could only be described as a gentleman who everyone respected. He was always immaculately turned out and it seems quite incredible that even after reaching the age of 90 he continued to be fully involved in the commercial department with Mick Docking.

He had a great knowledge of the club having watched games from his youth onwards. He would often speak of those early days when we worked together on arranging our Forces Day games. I know he really enjoyed those particular games and the meetings we had with officers of RAF Henlow and the Hitchin Army Reserve (Territorial Army). I know he loved to watch the marching bands on these special days and we raised a lot of money for forces charities.

Everybody liked and looked up to Fred and I feel lucky to have worked alongside him. Unfortunately along with the recent loss of John Gray we are losing irreplaceable members of the Hitchin Town FC community but at least we have so many good memories.

The pitch renovations were completed last Saturday so we covered goalmouths and linesmen’s runs with germination sheets and put our irrigation on.

The pitch was watered over the week with the sprinklers coming on at various times via the timer we have. As we are not fortunate to have a built in pop up system our static sprinkles have to be moved frequently by myself and other members of the ground staff team.

It’s amazing to see how many pigeons suddenly appear as soon as we leave to feed on the seed! It is also free meals for the sparrow hawk that visits.

Today, Saturday we gave the pitch its first trim avoiding the areas with the germination sheets down and I have provided a photo of that.

Grass around the stadium was cut and ‘suckers’ removed from the trees behind the stand and weeds in front of the turnstiles were removed and more ivy was cut from various places.

There will be more to do next Saturday.

In common with every other pub in the UK, Lockdown has forced the Canary Club to close its doors to customers and that has left our regulars thirsty and the Club’s finances stretched. Just when finally, the fortunes of our Social Club seemed to be turning round and bookings and trade were on the increase, our income has ground to a halt and we wait eagerly for the moment when it will be safe to go for a pint again.

During this period of enforced closure, we have been looking at ways to generate income and one plan has come to light courtesy of Budweiser UK. They call it SAVEPUBLIFE and the scheme is explained in full on line under https://savepublife.com/ . Hitchin Town Football Club have registered with Bud and hope that as many of our regular patrons as well as club supporters will participate, thereby generating extra funds from Budweiser.

In a nutshell, the scheme works like this:
Pub patrons buy a drink voucher direct from the Savepublife website. These vouchers come in units of a fiver between £5 and £100. The money spent goes via Budweiser to the Club. Each pound voucher is matched by Budweiser, so that a twenty quid spend is actually worth forty. The voucher, which is issued to the purchaser online is redeemable against any product(s) at the Canary Club once we re-open.

Budweiser have put a ceiling of £500,000 on their total matching cash, subject to a maximum of £1,000 to any one pub. Given that they are still encouraging pub participation, hopefully their total cash allocation has not yet been used up, but it is up to us to encourage the sale of vouchers as swiftly as we can so that we don’t miss out.

So, here is your chance to help replace some of that missing cash flow and generate extra funds for the Club too. Spend it now whilst all that spare cash is burning a hole in your pocket and enjoy a free session or three in a couple of months, when finally, the Canary Club doors re-open.

This Friday after the Instagram work-out with ex-student Brodie Couzens the question and answer session was with Neil Ryan. Neil played for Hitchin against Hereford and Bristol Rovers and then concentrated on his coaching career. He has done so well that he is now manager of Manchester United under 18’s side. This again shows our lads just what can be achieved in football after starting at Hitchin.

Dan has written a lockdown blog which available to read here.

Unfortunately we have not yet completed part three but Mark is finding so much to say after doing his research. We hope to be ready for next week.

Mark is still at that frustrating time all managers are facing with no certainty on when next season will begin. He has his eyes on certain players but it is just so difficult to make decisions with all the uncertainty. Players do not want to commit and clubs are unsure of their budgets.

Mark also wanted to pay his own tribute to Fred Andrews who he held in the highest regard and enjoyed working with him. He passes on his condolences to Fred’s family.