The blog hasn’t been very active but it doesn’t mean support has stopped. Since the last post there has been quite a bit going on.
A foodbank campaign just before Christmas that raised £650. With a matched donation of the first £250 from St Andrews Berwick Rangers supporters that saw the final total of £900 split between the foodbank and Northern Soul Kitchen. There was an additional £112.50 in gift aid to the foodbank.
An iMac computer and £100 worth of cables were donated to the club to assist with the streaming of the games. This worked well for the 2 games it was used for before the season was suspended.
Some match sponsorship and man of the match sponsorship.
Another 1000 shares were purchased.
The advertising board in the stadium has been paid for another season
This years player sponsorship has been paid for, this season it is Ben Swinton.
An entry to the front of shirt raffle.
And I’m sure there are various other things that have been missed.
It’s been a long time since my last post. Just lacking motivation and football. The club have been
busy, there has been a change of manager and backroom staff since my last post and new faces in
the squad. This post will be short hopefully, just getting back into the swing of it. I’ve been churning
out documentation at work and that takes its toll on any other writing I want to do.
I’ve been offering support where I can. I have renewed player sponsorship. Dougie Horne retired,
and I have continued with sponsoring a keeper, the new arrival Ben Swinton. I have paid for my
advertising board in the stadium and bought another 1000 shares with my £1000 winnings from the
supporter’s club monthly draw. I have also bought tickets for every draw and activity the club have
organised. I won 2 tickets for hospitality at the first home game of the season. I’ve put my name
down on the volunteer list and have been helping at the recent matches.
Trust wise I have been promoting the club and local community partners on social media and I wrote
a few articles for the magazine and asked a few others to write articles. I then spent a bit of time
editing the magazine before it was sent to be published.
Berwick v Hearts.
An easy one to write about. I took the Friday off work (and the following week) to be in Berwick. The
match was called off at short notice. It was a horrible evening though wet and windy.
“This evening’s scheduled clash with Scottish Premiership side Heart of Midlothian has been
cancelled following a number of positive Covid-19 tests at the Edinburgh club’s training base.
Five members of Hearts’ football department are now self-isolating in line with COVID-19 guidelines
after returning positive lateral flow and PCR tests.”
Berwick v Dundee United.
I was still in Berwick for this one, A Wednesday evening kick-off. Duties for the day were ticket
scanning. I was scanning the away fans tickets. A few fans struggling with their phones and the
concept of digital tickets. The drunk fans turning up late and struggling with everything. A
reasonable crowd for the game despite a few Dundee United fans not showing up. The United fans
were expecting to see the first team and they were not told it would essentially be the
youth/reserves until a few days before. “Dundee United last night revealed that they will be sending
a Development Squad to Shielfield Park for the fixture, with their first-team instead in-action behind
closed doors at St Andrews University on the same evening.” The crowd was around 450 so not a
It was a decent performance from Berwick who won 3-1. Berwick opened the scoring on 41 minutes
as Allan latched onto a long ball over the top to coolly slot beyond the keeper. On 74 minutes, Smith
made it 2-0 to Berwick. Shortly after United scored to pull it back to 2 -1 and with 3 minutes remaining,
a Berwick trialist added the 3rd.
Berwick v North Shields.
A Saturday 2pm kick-off this time. It was announced that there would be a cash gate so I would be
looking after that. It was quite late on that a cash gate was announced, but the numbers meant that
it was feasible. There were a few fans grumbling about this but it’s better to have one even if late on
that to not. There are many covid factors at play that some seem to forget about. There are rules
and regulations that need to be followed. A few comments directed to me about this when oi was
taking the money, a few comments about the cost (£10). And a guy who was incensed that we didn’t
sell beer in the ground and that we also wouldn’t let his mate buy some from the supermarket and
bring it in. That aside it all seemed to go reasonably well.
Another encouraging performance from Berwick who won 3-1. Three first half goals - an own goal,
Graham Taylor and Jamie Pyper. Berwick played against ten men for the second half after a red card
was produced. Lewis Allan missed a penalty early in the second half. The visitors scored a
consolation goal 15 minutes from time.
Berwick v Workington.
Berwick won this 2 – 0 but i never managed to get to this one. It was my 2nd covid vaccination at St
Andrews community hospital in the late morning. No way I would be able to make it to the game in
time. Like the 1st jab I was somewhat floored with muscle pain and headache. I wasn’t as bad as the
1st time but certainly not even worth considering travelling to the game. It was another 2pm kick-off
too so not feasible. My Brother and his wife were down in Berwick though and they took in the
Berwick v Caledonian Braves.
The start of the season and a 1 -0 win for Berwick and 3 valuable points. I travelled down to Berwick
with my dad for this one, His first outing in many months. It was free entry for this game to attract
fans, a little over 400 attending. I would be manning the donation bucket today. One of the hottest
days for a long time.
I would say Berwick dominated the first half. two in swinging corners in quick succession found an
opening at the back post for Mackenzie to nod home a free header to make it 1-0. As the second
half started a middle of the park challenge resulted with the referee producing a straight red for the
Braves player and ending the midfielder’s debut early. The heat raged on, and the second half fell a
little flat. Berwick failed to add to their tally. Smith gathered the ball on the edge of the box and
turned to shoot. He found enough space to drive an effort along the ground which saw the ball come
back off the post. Contender for goal of the season if it had gone in. This is the sort of game we
would have lost or drawn in previous seasons, many times we would lose a late goal. 3 points on the
board and on to the next game.
Tweedmouth Rangers are also having a front of shirt raffle for the coming season. I have entered this and well as the one for Berwick Rangers and Dunbar colts training kit raffle.
If successful a local charity will be picked as sponsor for the clubs involved.
St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters are delighted to announce the kit sponsorship of Keeper Dougie Horne.
Having sponsored Sean Brennan's kit for the last 3 seasons and previously sponsored keeper Kevin Walker and midfielder Dwayne Coultress over the last several years the time has come to sponsor again and it’s fair to say we have a soft spot for a keeper.
We warmly welcome Dougie to the Berwick team and hopefully we can catch up with him soon to have a chat and answer some questions....
Well another win in the Tweedmouth Rangers draw! This time £75 for 4th place. Last season I won a whopping £615 and the money was donated to various charities in the town. https://www.berwickranger.com/blog/community-donations
This time some went towards a Tweedmouth Rangers players kit sponsorship and the remaining Money to the club for tea/biscuits/cat food, whatever the players have at halftime...
The club have a raffle for shirt sponsorship again this season so I’ve purchased a ticket to show my support. I’ve also paid for a player kit sponsorship which I think will be my 6th consecutive season as a kit sponsor. The first player I sponsored was Dwayne Coultress if memory serves. I’ve also paid to retain the advertising board on the perimeter wall. I have a small advert in the programme but that will be covered in the cost of the raffle ticket. Better to get these paid now so the club have a little bit more revenue to play with.
To help with the difficult times ahead I have made a further donation to the 1881 fund of £500. This brings my donation total to £1500 (a further £50 for 2 virtual grand nation horses too but I’m not counting that). Travelling to the football with my dad really gives us something to look forward to. He’s 82 and it give us something to look entertain us at the weekends. The club has always been very friendly and welcoming to us and it’s worth it to spend quality time with my dad, even if at times the football isn’t quality. Easy access and friendly faces are priceless to us. It can be a real struggle getting disabled access to many football clubs, despite their claims. Berwick and the lower leagues in general have been very good in this respect and should be commended for this.
The Lowland league has been ended and a Kelty Hearts declared winners. There still a twist to come I feel but for now Berwick’s season has finished so it’s time for the end of season awards. Last year due to relegation there was no award ceremony, our award was left on the desk of Dennis Mcleary to hand over to the winner.
This season due to the global pandemic the award will be posted to the winner at some point after lockdown is lifted. One part of the award is an Amazon voucher, that can be sent via email or similar.
Winners in previous seasons have been:
Sean Brennan 2016/17.
Steven Thomson 2017/18.
Lewis Barr 2018/19.
And the winner is!
The winner this season is Lewis Barr. Lewis also picked up the award last season and again has been outstanding in this campaign. Tireless and always putting in the effort, Lewis is a worthy winner yet again. Well done Lewis. Special thanks to my dog Pippa for accepting the award on Lewis’s behalf.
With many people feeling the pinch at the moment our friends at Northern Soul Kitchen are not exempt from this. Millie and the team are working hard to provide food for the local community but with the cafe shut it’s a difficult time. That is why I have donated £100 to the guys to help out. They do a great service for the community and I only wish we had managed a better collaboration with Berwick Rangers when they were shirt sponsors. It was a time of turmoil at the club, board room takeovers and subsequent relegation dominated that season. If you can help with a donation, please do so. Thanks!
I’ve decided to give another £500 to the 1881 fund, this brings my total donation to £1000 (plus another £50 for 2 virtual Grand national horses).
Who knows how this football season will end. With turmoil and controversy no doubt. Brora Rangers have been declared Highland league winners, they were pretty far ahead and it would have taken some unlikely outcomes for them to be caught. There is no relegation from the Highland league so a simpler affair than most leagues.
The lowland league is a bit more complicated, Kelty Hearts 6 points in front of Bonnyrigg Rose but they still have to play each other one more time. Relegation too could be a problem, there are a few clubs at the bottom who could have gone down.
I think a play off system would work for promotion/relegation but it’s a tough call. Bonnyrigg and Kelty play a home away playoff to see who wins the Lowland league and faces Brora. The bottom of League 2 has a playoff between the bottom 2/3 clubs to see who faces the LL/HL winners? Although Brechin are bottom of L2 10 points off the next team (who also have a game in hand). It would be a real tough call to scrap the season and restart. So many teams have put in so much effort and money to gain promotion this season and they may not have the funds and support to do it again. There is of course closed doors games in the summer as an option, but most players at Berwick level will be out of contract in May.
We will just need to sit back and see what unfolds.