DCSIMG

Jubilee of Gentlemen who rallied to Blues’ appeal

GOSH, Gentlemen of Sharnbrook 25th anniversary. 
Left to right. Back row: Leigh Brewin, Phil Metcalf, Vince Hislop, John Davidge, Bob Damon, Les Evans, David Witherick, Graham Tucker.
Front row: Steve Hinchliffe, Mick Walsh, Alistair Ritchie, Bill Hosey, Derek Hart. Inset: Jim Dunlop, Colin Henman.

GOSH, Gentlemen of Sharnbrook 25th anniversary. Left to right. Back row: Leigh Brewin, Phil Metcalf, Vince Hislop, John Davidge, Bob Damon, Les Evans, David Witherick, Graham Tucker. Front row: Steve Hinchliffe, Mick Walsh, Alistair Ritchie, Bill Hosey, Derek Hart. Inset: Jim Dunlop, Colin Henman.

Twenty five years ago, a group of supporters from the Sharnbrook area decided to dig deep into their pockets to help the Blues.

A few of them had heard an appeal for sponsors over the tannoy at Goldington Road and the message hit home. Their club needed them.

It was in the days before professionalism around the time when the Blues got what some thought a rather lucky promotion to the top tier and then went on to lose every single league match before crashing down again. It was a tough time on the pitch and off it.

And so the Gentlemen of Sharnbrook were born. Former Bedford Athletic player Pete Butler had the idea and with three other founders got the team together. He came up with the name too.

The group based themselves at the Swan with Two Nicks in Sharnbrook’s High Street. And they are still there.

Twenty five years on and members have come and gone – including three of the four founders.

But the group has never had more than 15 in it – deliberately - and at the start of each season they have all made a contribution to the club’s coffers that amounts to around £60,000 over the 25 years. This season they have handed over £1,000 for a rowing machine for the players’ gym to celebrate their anniversary. On top of the hard cash they’ve sponsored two or three games per season as well as match balls and supported all of the club’s rights issues and fundraising appeals.

These days GOSH is like an exclusive gentlemen’s club.

The organisation now has a chairman, a secretary, a treasurer, an annual meeting, various social functions for wives and partners and a special tie.

Members come from all walks of life, united by their love of the Blues and their connection with Sharnbrook. Only one member hasn’t actually lived in the village. But he was allowed to join, they say, because he virtually lived in the pub!

 

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