These notes were written before our FA Cup reply against Nantwich in midweek after a hard-fought draw up in Cheshire. The FA Cup is always exciting for us fans particularly when you get this close to the 1st round proper – let’s hope we made it through. Today, we have a tough game against Slough. Things are tight at the top and Slough are one of the teams currently in the mix.
Recently, we heard the news that Rockingham Road has finally been sold to developers for housing. The Trust wrote to the Pickerings on more than one occasion over the last year see if there was any possibility, however small, of the Poppies getting back to Rockingham Road. We had one e-mail back saying that we were not a viable option albeit they did not know what we had to say. Deep down we probably all knew that we would never return but it makes it no less sad to know now that we never will.
Now we have to look to the future and see if there is any possibility of us getting back into Kettering. Back in June, leading up to the general election, the Trust Board thought it would be useful to obtain the views of all the prospective parliamentary candidates for Kettering, regarding the value of local sport, and the Poppies’ attempts to find a permanent home. We therefore asked the following question in a letter to all the candidates
“Dear Candidate, what value do you place on local sport as a cultural pastime, both from a playing and spectating point of view and how high a priority would you give to helping secure the Poppies a permanent home for the benefit of generations to come? Thank you for taking the time to consider our correspondence, and we look forward to your reply, which we will share with as many people as possible who have the club at heart”.
Mick Scrimshaw (Labour), Suzanna Austin (Lib Dem), and Rob Reeves (Green) all sent written responses:
Mick Scrimshaw: “I understand that the football club is a massively important part of our local community and part of the town’s history and culture, and as such an asset to the town itself. If elected to be Kettering’s MP I would offer to meet directly with the club to offer any help, support or influence I could, as well as continue to work with local politicians of any party to try and help bring about a move back to Kettering which is something as a local resident myself I strongly wish to happen.”
Suzanna Austin: “The Poppies current position of having a ground outside Kettering is something the Lib Dems have and do actively campaign on. As an important local issue that deeply affects not only Poppies supporters but also the towns of Kettering and Burton Latimer we will continue to fight to bring the Poppies back home.”
Rob Reeves: “I think that a local football team is fundamental to the character and identity of a town and would 100% be behind securing the Poppies a permanent home in Kettering and, as long as supporters want that home to be Rockingham Road, I will support them in that fight.”
Philip Hollobone (Conservative) informed us that he was too busy to be able to provide a written response but did give us a short statement via telephone which included: “I place lots of value on local sport - all sports, including rugby, hockey, cricket and tennis. I also place lots of importance on supporting the Club and the Trust in finding a solution to the ground situation. You will remember that I recently supported a motion at Kettering Borough Council, which was amended and improved by the Conservative group, to hold talks regarding the potential solutions. This amended motion received cross party support.”
Philip Hollobone was duly elected as the MP for Kettering. If you would like to raise any issues with him regarding the Club and the ground situation, you can email him at email@example.com.
The Trust will continue to support the Club in its quest to try and return the Poppies to Kettering, something most of us would like to see happen.
Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust, PO Box 6492, Kettering, NN16 0YT
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Trust Board Members: Mark Severn (Treasurer), Bill Pringle (Secretary), Richard Atkinson (Vice Chairman), Bob Brown, Gordon Anderson, James Mayell