Grimsby Town and the Mariners Trust will honour one of the club’s heroic former players on Saturday – as part of a wider show of respect for our armed forces veterans.
Ahead of Town’s clash with Leyton Orient, the Trust will officially name the ‘corner bar’ between Blundell Park’s Pontoon and Young’s stands as the ‘Wheelhouse Bar’ – in honour of long-serving player Sidney Wheelhouse.
He was club captain at the start of First World War and subsequently joined the Footballers Battalion, but tragically, he lost his life alongside many others during the Battle of the Somme.
Now the Trust – in partnership with GTFC and Wheelhouse’s descendants – will honour his memory with the official opening of the newly-renamed bar at 1.15pm as part of the club’s celebration of ‘Veterans’ Day’.
We are very keen that Sidney’s story is preserved and that his memory is honoured at the football club.
We have deliberately chosen the Orient game for the official opening because whilst training for the battalion Sydney made several guest appearances for Clapton Orient (now Leyton Orient) and as a club they do an enormous amount to honour those lost, including Sidney.
We have some of their supporters coming along to take part in the ceremony. We also have members of the family as special guests for the day.
Around the bar we have placed some boards which tells Sidney’s story and we are sure supporters will find these interesting and informative. We will also have commemorative posters in all of the bars.”
As well as the opening of the new bar, the club have also organised for the Sea Cadet Band, a piper and buglers to perform ahead of kick-off.
There will also be a wreath-laying ceremony, accompanied by the sounding of the Last Post and followed by a minute’s silence to honour all servicemen who paid the ultimate price in service of their country.
Former veterans who attend Saturday’s clash wearing their medals or berets will be granted free access to the clash with Orient, while the club will also be selling Somme Crosses on the turnstiles for £1.50, with all proceeds going towards the Royal British Legion.
The club hopes fans will buy these and hold them aloft to create a ‘sea of Remembrance’ ahead of military re-enactment personnel leading the two sides out ahead of kick-off.
Following the resignation of Andy Carr who played Mighty Mariner, it’s clear that the football clubs Board had asked the club officers to come up with proposals and to market Mighty on a game by game basis as part of the match day experience.
In a meeting with the Clubs Board, it was explained that they had not been involved in setting the price for the package and that they also agreed, that it had been set far to high.
In setting the price it was thought that the package would only be sold 3 or 4 times a season and that a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) would be required incurring considerable cost and setting up.
The Clubs safeguarding officer has since advised that a DBS would not be required which takes away any complexity and cost.
In terms of value the package includes
3 tickets £60 (inc Mascot)
Autographed Ball £30
Framed Photo/Picture £20
A successful Mighty will need to complete an application form, confirming suitability and wellbeing.
The Mariners Trust are pleased that a permanent replacement has been found and support the model of hiring out the experience a limited number of times a year as we understand that on these occasions the guest will be supervised by the permanent Mighty Mariner. The price for the experience will be set at £160 in line with junior mascot packages and a £50 discount will be offered for each family member junior package if the Mighty Mariner experience is also booked. We feel this is much more realistic than the £300 originally set for this experience.
Here is the link :http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/302045474401?
We would like to this opportunity to thank Andy for all the support he has given the Trust as Mighty Mariner.
We have agreed with the Club that we will have a fans forum in mid September. This will be a “non football” forum ie not including Paul Hurst or Chris Doig. It is likely to take place w/c 19th September and we will confirm the exact date asap. We plan to show it live on the internet.
In conjunction with the introduction of the SLO (Supporter Liason Officer) we have put together a “Fans Charter”. This basically outlines what we think fans should expect from us and what we expect of fans in terms of conduct. You can find details on our website here :http://www.marinerstrust.co.uk/mariners-trust-fans-charter/
One topical item within the charter is the use of pyrotechnics. To be clear we strongly condemn the use of these and support the club in their efforts to eliminate including banning those responsible.
Previously we communicated that we were working with the club with a view to introducing a package for those fans who cannot make every game because for example they work shifts or live away and therefore a season ticket would not be appropriate. We have put several proposals forward but have not yet concluded. We will continue to work with the club on this and will hopefully get to a solution soon.
Our AGM will take place in early November (Date TBC). There will be the opportunity at this meeting to elect new board members. If anyone would like to be considered then please forward details to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As ever thanks for all support.
Mariners Trust Board