County's Former Players' Association proves a big hit
12:28pm Thursday 6th March 2014 in Sport
CRAIG Reid is the latest name to sign up to the newly formed Newport County AFC Former Players’ Association.
A total of 21 County heroes met at Rodney Parade on February 27 – the 25th anniversary of the winding up order for the original club – for the inaugural meeting of the group.
Allen Wood, a 1960s and early 1970s utility player who played in every position including goal and maintained his involvement post 1989 as a member of the coaching staff, was appointed chairman.
Alongside other fundraising events the Association is intending to organise veterans’ games with former County player and boss John Relish adding this to his management CV.
Relish said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to have some sort of association for us to get together occasionally and to perhaps raise money for the club or other good causes.
“Other clubs have had this for many years and some are now quite large undertakings.
“We attracted a really good turn out and what strikes me is that there were 21 players who have collectively made 2,800 appearances for County over five different decades, going back to Keith Tennant in the 1950s.
“We also had apologies from another 14 keen to be involved, including Steve Berry – and he lives in Paris!
“I am sure that when we get the message out and develop our events that NCFPA will go from strength to strength.”
Wood added: “Let’s face it, no matter in what era we played or managed, we rarely had the best of facilities and relatively few players can look at silverware – but what we always had was a camaraderie that was second to none.
“Perhaps it was that the club’s infrastructure was so threadbare that we formed such a bond and while I spent my entire career with my hometown club, I know that the amber crept into the blood of many others.”
Membership is open to anyone who has made a first team appearance as well as former managers and first team coaching staff.
Eligible members and supporters or organisations who wish to suggest future events are asked to contact Andrew Taylor on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07799470185.
At the time of writing the membership was up to 58, including Reid, Nigel Vaughan and Mark Gibb, both now living in Texas, and Alfie Hale in Ireland.
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