How do you measure success?
Is it final totals raised? Is it old friendships renewed or new ones made? Is it awareness raised about a terrible disease? Is it having a great time at an event?
If it is, then our recent “An Evening With Jeff Stelling” can certainly be filed under that very heading!
When the idea of doing this type of evening was first touted during a Committee Meeting, and the possibility of Jeff being available and amiable to coming to a little village on the North/West Yorkshire border, plans started to be formed but nobody could have foretold the scale of the event. The “where do we hold it?” question bounced back and forth for a while until we decided to host on our home ground in a Marquee. A fair few times it was speculated as to what it would look like – the answer was fantastic as the decorations on the tables, the topiary, the programmes, the banners all added that special touch that set the perfect stage, yet reminded us of why we were doing it - to raise awareness of a terrible disease and to help raise funds to fight it!
To say that the club, and certain people within, were extremely nervous that the event wouldn’t be well received up to the actual day, these feelings were completely banished by 7pm as an air of excitement saturated Barr Field and went up a notch when the guest of honour arrived alongside club legend Lloyd Pinder.
The evening was wonderfully marshalled by Ged Maloney and his velvety tones were heard directing the evening through the crystal-clear sound system. Even when proceedings got animated during the raffle and auction, Ged stood firm and directed with consummate ease!
Comedian Austin Knight took to the floor, and within minutes had the audience in fits of laughter which continued throughout his act. Even the most stoic spectator finally cracked at some stage, and his one-liners as people dared to go to the bar meant that he had a very well-behaved audience for most of his stint!
Following a delicious pie and peas supper which went down a treat, Jeff took to the floor. For an hour he kept us in the palm of his hand with a quick-fire recap of his career ranging from some interesting letters received as a fledgling broadcaster, his time on Countdown (who’d have thought Gino D’Campo was capable of THAT!) and of course his time with the crazy gang at Soccer Saturday! Nobody was spared, Paul Merson, Phil Thompson, Matt Le Tissier, Charlie Nicholas, George Best and of course Chris “Officer” Kamara all featured in an act that earned him a standing ovation from a very appreciative and entertained audience.
Watching our Social Media feeds, you would have seen the fantastic range of items we had to auction, and they went down a storm! The highest three bids saw the signed Geoff Hurst shirt fetch £850.00, Paul Gascoigne’s signed shirt went for £800.00 and the executive tickets to see Manchester United play Liverpool at Old Trafford sold at £750.00. All the items went without issue (as an aside, please could the winners who haven’t done already make sure that they have paid into our account before collecting their prizes, which can be done Tuesday evening from 6:30 pm or Saturday morning from 10:30 am) and the grand total raised for Prostate Cancer UK can now be revealed as an amazing £7755.00!
All at Kirk Deighton Rangers AFC would like to thank everyone who helped to make this event the success it was (the list is huge, but you know who you are) we couldn’t have done any of it without you all, and we really appreciate everyone’s effort and involvement.
To quote a line from a well known Kevin Costner film, “If you build it, they will come” We did and you did, and we thank you all!