DTB MEMBER LUKE MACKENZIE REFLECTS ON OLLIE PALMER’S DEPARTURE AND HIGHLIGHTS A FEW PROJECTS OFF THE PITCH.
The phrase ‘football is a game of opinions’ never rings more true when a transfer happens. I’m writing this on Monday, the day Ollie Palmer signed for Wrexham. I remember being excited when he signed, watching the boxing video to announce that he was coming in. He certainly had patches in his time with us where he looked unplayable. But he also had a few injuries that limited his appearances and time on the pitch.
But I’ll also remember Ollie for some of his off the pitch stuff. How he was happy to pose for a picture with my son and chatted away to a rather shy six-year-old. How he slept rough overnight in the stadium as part of the big sleep out and helped raise over £40,000 for DLAG and other charities.
And that’s the thing. Being a footballer isn’t just being on the pitch, scoring goals, making tackles. It’s more than that. With social media, how you act off the pitch can sometimes prove even more important. Marcus Rashford is a prime example of bridging that gap and his outstanding work with food poverty certainly hasn’t held back his footballing ability (although of course, some will have the opinion it has).
So, I want to say thank you to Ollie. For all you have done on and off the pitch. I hope you enjoyed your short stay with us, and I hope we see you again in the future.
One other exciting thing that I’ve been doing recently is watching the progress of the Plough Lane Bond. It never ceases to amaze me how much goes into it each day and watching the little graphic work towards the £2 million is fantastic. Thank you to every one of you who has put money in.
On a totally different note, you may well have seen an advert recently looking for help with the memorial space at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Thanks to those who offered to help. We have some fantastic people at the club and the range of skills that people can bring to the table always impresses. Who knew that being a landscape gardener could come in handy to a League One club? So, with plans now underway and a meeting to be held, it will be great to understand what we can achieve with the space being used.
Isn’t it nice to play a home game on a Saturday? All these midweek fixtures trying to catch up on the back log really haven’t done my New Year’s resolution of going to bed early midweek any good at all. Whilst I love a night game – the atmosphere always seems better – I often find myself lying awake well into the early hours over analysing the game, reading all the social media sites and generally being distracted by the beautiful game.
Talking of resolutions, for those doing dry January, you’re missing some of the recent changes in The Phoenix, where the excellent By The Horns crew are doing a fantastic job. Every time I come to the stadium there is a small change, something working better, something looking better. I thank you for your patience whilst we try to get everything working as smoothly and efficiently as we can. I hope you can see the changes that are happening and appreciate them. The latest has been the WTID photo gallery installed in the West Stand. It looks fantastic and is a great testament to those people who helped build this club – us, the fans.
Thanks for your support and I hope to see some of you in the pub afterwards.