Club talk

Cliff Bennett and his rebel rousers, a clothing conundrum, a b-looming great idea

I was alone, I took a ride
I didn’t know what I would find there
Another road where maybe I
Could see another kind of mind there

Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers

In the few weeks since the Supporters’ Club members were elected to post, the Committee has made huge strides in putting together a package of benefits for those Coventry Rugby Club supporters who decide they want a little more than simply the match day experience that is currently available.

I have to say I’ve been hugely impressed with the way the committee has pulled together so quickly and with so much on offer, there’s something there for everyone. Many of those who become members will do so because of the discounted travel to away games. However, there is so much to get involved than just that and I’m sure the Supporters’ Club will become popular with fans keen to share in the other benefits that will accrue from their membership.

The Committee have managed to get so much done in such a short space of time because the strength of the group lies in the fact that the 8 members appear to have different but extremely complementary skills which enable individuals to work on different projects, whilst also chipping in with ideas and support for what others are doing as well.

Work, holidays and other commitments mean that the full committee isn’t always able to meet up, but this hasn’t prevented everyone from getting tasks done and forwarding the results to the committee for drafting or approval.  That said, the Committee will have met for the 5th time already by the end of this week and I know that Cliff Bennett (Chair) and Quent Melhuish (Secretary) have met up on many more occasions, including with representatives from the club, to explore  further possible perks.

And emails…

…goodness me, my Inbox is at bursting point some days with everyone responding to suggestions or putting forward ideas of their own. It’s really encouraging to see how everyone involved is so keen to make a success of it all.

Cliff and Quent have worked tirelessly and I know they won’t thank me for highlighting this, but it seems appropriate that just before the Supporters’ Club is officially launched and membership forms become available,  their roles in getting it up and running should be acknowledged.

It was around 11 months or so ago that I first came across Cliff and it was clear then that he felt Cov supporters should have more of a voice. His tenacity in contacting the club on several occasions prior to meeting with Jon Sharp is the reason why the Supporters’ Club is to be re-launched. Without his input, we would be months behind where we are, presuming that the Committee had got off the ground in the first place.

Jon Sharp and Rowland Winter have also been instrumental in getting things moving, as has Lara Hunter, and the club’s willingness to support the Committee has made a huge difference.

Already, the Supporters’ Club is looking to provide a range of benefits that include:

  • discounted travel;
  • regular prize draws;
  • special members’ events;
  • opportunities to meet players and coaches;
  • a membership newsletter;
  • a vote in deciding the Supporters’ Club ‘Player of the Season’ award;
  • a members’ newsletter;
  • a guided tour of the clubs facilities.

And there’s more planned.

The club now has its own logo (and Rob Carter has done a fantastic job on it). I had intended to include it here, but it’s been so professionally done that I had second thoughts –  it’s deserving of an official launch rather appearing on here first.

Eventually, I’d like to think the Supporters’ Club won’t just be about enabling supporters to access a great deal more from the club than perhaps is on offer at the moment, it will also be an opportunity to socialise with people who all share a  similar love of Coventry Rugby Club.

And perhaps that is the best reason of all to justify its existence.

Much to my shame, it wasn’t until my wife burst into a particularly tuneless rendition of ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ on hearing me mention Cliff that I remembered he shared the same name as the eponymous leader of the band responsible for the aforementioned top 10 hit – Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers. It was a hit back in the mid-60s which she can remember clearly, but one I’ve only heard on 60s compilation albums.

Fast forward 50 years to the modern day Cliff Bennett – again a leader, but this time round not of a group of rebel rousers. That said, the Committee is intent on making sure supporters are, if they chose, able to get more from being part of the club than just a game of rugby and a drink in the bar afterwards.

The lyrics to ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ (by Paul McCartney no less) are uncannily relevant to the situation we have found ourselves in at Cov in recent years. Supporters to some extent have been ‘alone’ and the advent of the Supporters’ Club offers us all the chance to take that ‘ride’.

I’m sure Cliff didn’t know what he would find when he set out on his journey, but clearly we’re now on another road, with different people and different minds all working together for the same purpose.

I was alone, I took a ride
I didn’t know what I would find there
Another road where maybe I
Could see another kind of mind there

The more people who join the Club, the more the committee  can offer in return.

Hopefully, folk will want to be part of it from the start because it could lead to some exciting times, especially when the club’ s success both on and off the pitch ensures attendances grow with more and more supporters wanting to be involved.

Supporters will be able to join from the 27th September onwards and forms will be available at all home games and via a dedicated Supporters’ Club email address…and with one or two things hopefully being arranged early on, it would be a shame to join late and miss out.

There’s going to be lots going on…so sign up early…

and take that ride with Cliff Bennett and his rebel rousers at the helm.

And, finally, here is the original Cliff Bennett, back in the day…

Ooh, then I suddenly see you
Ooh, did I tell you I need you
Every single day
Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers – Got To Get You Into My life

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jaess

That was then, this is now…her mother’s looks, her father’s placid nature and her grandad’s incontinence…Jessica

I do hope Under Armour are going to be catering for all shapes and sizes when we finally get to see the full range of Coventry merchandise available this season.

I’m particularly anxious to find out whether they’ll be offering a similar range of babywear to that produced by TeamBAG last season…

I am, really.

Those of you who have been following the blog for any length of time will recall back in February the birth of our sixth grandchild, Jessica.

Anxious to ensure that she was brought up to believe in the one true club, I bought the smallest size of baby grow available, which was 3-6 months, in the fetching pink of the never-to-materialise away strip. I made sure my daughter took the first photos of Jessica when she was wearing it…and devoted mum that she is, Charlie has made sure that Jessica has appeared in it at regular intervals to appease me of my fear that she will grow up to be something of an agnostic as far Cov is concerned.

Nearly 6 months on and she is now about to out grow the baby grow.

I fear that her parents, for all their willingness to placate me, are rather less  passionate about Cov than perhaps I am. And if Under Armour don’t come up with the goods, I can see mum and dad, both fashion icons themselves, 0pting for other designer labels in the absence of any suitable Cov clothing. Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda…the options are endless.

It is clearly something of a worry and is presently causing me some anxious nights…the nightmare scenario of  little Jessica being kitted in, say, a Birmingham City  baby grow, could yet condemn me to an early grave…and it’s just the sort of thing my son-in-law (if only he were) might find vaguely amusing  – the Blues baby grow, that is, not my premature demise.

Although, that said…

So, if there is anyone reading this who is in the know…does the range of Cov clothing available from Under Armour include anything for the younger supporter, preferably aged 9-12 months?

It’s probably not the demographic that they’re most interested in…

…but here’s hoping.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

bracelet

Me as a wrist model…with the skin of a youthful 60 year old. Shame I’m only 57…

It was my birthday yesterday.

I only mention this because one of my other grandchildren made me a Cov related presented which has set me thinking.

But first things first.

The present was what she describes as a ‘lucky Cov loom bracelet’ made out of blue and white loom bands to represent the Cov colours. A brilliant idea and a lovely thought – perhaps not quite the right shade of blue, but Lucy wouldn’t have known that really. It’s a great gift, the kind that shows real thought and I’ll certainly be wearing it on Saturday and on game days thereafter.

Now apparently these bands are easy to get hold off and come in separate colours and are all the rage with youngsters…so here’s the thing…

It would make for a great competition, either in schools as part of Coventry’s own community programme led by Matt Price and the community outreach team, or just amongst children attending matches with their parents.

Design your own Cov loom band.

Apparently the permutations are almost endless…RW or one of the captains could select the winner and all the entries could be displayed in the clubhouse.

We could even stock white and blue loom bands in the club shop!

It’s the sort of thing that we need to be doing to capture the interest of the younger supporters, many of whom are drawn by the more family orientated activities run by Wasps on match days.

It needn’t stop there, either…t-shirt competitions, shorts stories, drawings of the Butts on match day, a poster advertising a match day, design your own Cov stamp, guess the number of miles the coach to Plymouth travels, best selfie with a player after a game…the skies the limit.

It just takes a little imagination…

…and a desire to get more youngster involved.

 

 

Categories:Club talk

1 reply »

  1. Thanks for the very generous and kind comments, Tim. If I had £1 for every time I’ve been asked “where are the Rebel Rousers?” I’d be a wealthy, albeit somewhat bored, man by now.
    Yes, I did put a bit of effort in over a period of two years to get us to the point where the club has given us it’s official backing so that we could get to where we are now, but the Supporters’ Club has scaled heights which I hadn’t envisaged. As you know, I didn’t really want the role of Chairman, but the task has been made so much easier by a magnificent committee. When I was at work, I never had a team of such diverse but dedicated and enthusiastic people, and all of whom are volunteers! It’s they who have contributed so much to help us to get up and running for the benefit of supporters.
    Once all this hard work to set up the Supporters’ Club has been achieved, and our membership swells to a healthy level (that’s how it’s looking) we will be on a roll and a number of events, including social events, are planned.

    Like

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