Skipper’s message delights 80-year-old fan

Spireites skipper Will Evans sent a personal video message to lifelong supporter Alan Tomlinson who recently celebrated his 80th birthday.

Alan, who was a season ticket holder for over 50 years, lives at Holmewood Care Home and has been missing watching his beloved team play due to being unable to attend any recent matches.

When the home’s activities co-ordinator, Gemma Gill, learned Alan was an avid Chesterfield supporter, she contacted the club to see if there was something they could do to raise his spirits. 

She was surprised to receive a video message to Alan from Will, who told him how strange it was not to have fans at the ground on matchday. 

Will said: “Hi Alan. It’s Will Evans, Chesterfield captain. Hope you’re OK. I hear you’re missing the football though.

“To be honest, we’re all missing the fans and everyone at the ground and the buzz around the stadium on a matchday. It’s just not the same, I have to say. It’s a little bit strange. We’re not getting used to it, I tell you that.

“Stay positive. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer. And hopefully see you soon.”

Alan said: “I was very happy to get a message from Will Evans. It really has cheered me up. I would like to say a massive thank you to Will and the club.”

Alan has lived in Holmewood his entire life and became a fan of Chesterfield when he was a child. 

He said: “My father used to take me and my brother to watch every home match at Saltergate. I remember the excitement of walking through the gates and the brilliant atmosphere of just being there.”

Alan left school at 15 and began training as a joiner, getting a job with a small firm called Microft. With his first payslip he bought himself a Chesterfield season ticket and carried on attending matches for over 50 years.

He only stopped after his health deteriorated and he was unable to get to the stadium anymore.

Gemma, who started working at Holmewood Care Home recently, explained that she got in touch with the Community Trust’s Keith Jackson after finding out that Alan is an avid Chesterfield supporter.

She said: “We were both surprised when captain Will Evans sent Alan a lovely video message. It has meant so much to Alan. We’d like to say a big thank you to Keith and Will for taking the time to raise the spirits of one of their longest-serving supporters.”

Keith said: “The local community is everything to us and supporters are the lifeblood of the club.

“The Trust’s aim is to use the power of the club to improve the lives of local residents and by linking in with Will, who was happy to help, we’ve been able to cheer Alan up a little bit, which can make a big difference in these current times.

“A huge thank you to Gemma and her colleagues, who are doing some fantastic work in difficult conditions, from all of us and hopefully we will be able to invite them to a game in the future.”

*Alan is pictured with a card he has sent to Will to thank him for his message.