A LIFELONG Chesterfield FC fan and season ticket holder for over 50 years was delighted to receive a personal video message from captain Will Evans.
Alan Tomlinson, who recently turned 80 and lives at Holmewood Care Home, on Barnfield Close, has been missing watching his beloved team play due to being unable to attend any recent matches.
When the home’s activities coordinator, Gemma Gill, learned Alan was an avid Chesterfield FC supporter, she contacted the club to see if there was something they could do to raise his spirits.
She was surprised to receive a video message to Alan from the club skipper, who told him how strange it was not to have fans at the ground on matchday.
Will said: “Hi Alan. It’s Will Evans, Chesterfield captain. Hope you’re OK. I hear you’re missing the football though.
“To be honest, we’re all missing the fans and everyone at the ground and the buzz around the stadium on a matchday. It’s just not the same, I have to say. It’s a little bit strange. We’re not getting used to it, I tell you that.
“Stay positive. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer. And hopefully see you soon.”
Alan said: “I was very happy to get a message from Will Evans. It really has cheered me up. I would like to say a massive thank you to Will and the club.”
Alan has lived in Holmewood his entire life and became a fan of Chesterfield FC when he was a child.
He said: “My father used to take me and my brother to watch every home match at Saltergate. I remember the excitement of walking through the gates and the brilliant atmosphere of just being there.”
Alan left school at 15 and began training as a joiner, getting a job with a small firm called Microft. With his first payslip he bought himself a Chesterfield FC season ticket and carried on attending matches for over 50 years.
He only stopped after his health deteriorated and he was unable to get to the stadium anymore. However, he has plans to attend a game with support from the care home when crowds are allowed at matches again.
Gemma said: “I started working at Holmewood Care Home recently and I familiarised myself with the lovely residents and found out that one of our gentlemen, Alan Tomlinson, is an avid Chesterfield FC supporter.
“I got in touch with Keith Jackson, head of sports and activities at Chesterfield FC Community Trust, and asked if it was possible for a player to send Alan a video message to cheer him up.
“We were both surprised when captain Will Evans sent Alan a lovely video message. It has meant so much to Alan. We’d like to say a big thank you to Keith and Will for taking the time to raise the spirits of one of their longest serving supporters.”
Keith said: “The local community is everything to us and supporters are the lifeblood of the club.
“The trust’s aim is to use the power of the club to improve the lives of local residents and by linking in with Will, who was happy to help, we’ve been able to cheer Alan up a little bit, which can make a big difference in these current times.
“From all of us, a huge thank you to Gemma and her colleagues, who are doing some fantastic work in difficult conditions, and hopefully we will be able to invite them to a game in the future.”