We are pleased to be able to share details of our new kit and sponsors for the forthcoming season as we make a return to the more traditional predominantly Claret & Blue kit.

The front of the shirt will carry the name of Castlemore – the clubs preferred choice of building surveyors, designers and builders for the proposed new ground. Chairman Peter Brown explained, “We have been liaising with Castlemore since August last year and have been impressed with what they have to offer and their commitment to the project already, both financially and in time.”

This week also saw the first monthly draw for the Claret Club business members with local solicitors Coyle White Devine being the first out of the hat and winning the right to have their name on the reverse of the kits for the forthcoming season. “We are delighted to be able to promote our local sponsors” adds Peter, “The name on the back of the shirt is just the first of our monthly draws for our Claret Club members, later this month we will be carrying out the next draw for a free perimeter board at The Meadow for the season ahead. I would like to say a big thank you to all twelve of our Claret Club members that have signed up nice and early, we look forward to working with you more throughout the season ahead.”

The away kit for the club remains yellow and black with a revamped design for 2022/23 season. Full details and image of the kits can be seen below with replica shirts expected to be available from the club and the club shop in time for the start of the new campaign. But in the meantime to make sure you get your shirt in time for the first league game we have ordered 9 extra shirts which we will have for sale at £37 with pick up from the club in both home and away colours with sizes up to 2 x XL. Get your orders in now to retail@cheshamunited.co.uk. There is no postage charge!!

It is with great sadness that I share the news that one of our longest-serving, and most loved supporters, lost his battle with cancer last weekend. At the age of 74 we say goodbye to Fred Wallis, who will be greatly missed.

I personally have known Fred since I was ten years old, by then he was already a Chesham United supporter having attended his first game as a mere eight year old. He would go on to be a loyal supporter at both home and away matches, including all the games in the 1990s when he used to travel on the Boughton’s mini-bus to matches. There was always a story to tell, but perhaps a favourite was on the way to Hendon’s old Claremont Road ground. Fred thought he recognised a car in front so they decided to follow it rather than use their own map…and ended up at Brent Cross Shopping Centre!

In more recent times he has shared a lift to matches with Gavin Jones. Generous to the last Fred always insisted on paying for Gavin to get into games in return for the petrol, although he did insist that Gavin wore a hat and scarf around his neck so that the much younger Gavin could get in as an OAP concession!

At these difficult times our love and thoughts are with Fred’s family, he has created many great memories for all of us and as a club we are proud to have been such a large part of his life. His last game watching his beloved Chesham United was on March 26th against Poole Town, after the game he sent a text message to friends saying “What a game, I will remember this for many a day.”

Fred, we will always remember you, sleep peacefully.

Peter Brown

 

Funeral Details

Tuesday 31st May 2022 15:15 pm at Amersham Crematorium. With a wake at Berkhamsted Golf Club following the service

 

Tribute to Fred, read at his funeral by Chairman Peter Brown

People often ask me why I wanted to become Chairman of Chesham United. Why I wanted to take the grief, the hassle, the sleepless nights, and the inevitable criticism that comes with the job. Why do something that takes up so much of my time? And sometimes money. Why do something that you know nobody will thank you for when things will go well, but they will sure as anything blame you when things go wrong? Why do it?

It’s because of people like Fred. It’s because I get to meet people like Fred. People that are warm-hearted, passionate about what they do and leave you smiling when you have finished talking with them… even if they are having a little moan about the game!

In truth, Fred was not a moaner – a bit of a rare breed at the football club. Like all of us, he would be frustrated by poor performances and question some of the decisions on the pitch, but he was very quickly over it and looking forward to the next game. The wins were fantastic, the draws were ok, defeats disappointing, but it was the time spent with friends on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday Evenings that Fred loved. That we all love.

And Fred had a lot of friends. A walk around the terraces would always take him twice as long as anyone else, not because he was unstable on his feet, but he was constantly stopping to chat to people he knew. Checking how they were or picking up any terrace gossip that might be doing the rounds. Even at away games it was no different, you could guarantee that at some point he would bump into someone that he met years ago and made friends with, stopping for another chat.

It was not just Chesham United Fred loved, it was all local football – every Tuesday and Saturday during the football season you can bet your life that he would be at a match somewhere. If it was not Chesham, then it would likely be either Berkhamsted or Hemel Hempstead Town. To be honest, I started to wonder if it was Fred’s choice or just a case that Ann wanted to get him out of the house for a bit of peace and quiet!

I remember one cold and miserable Tuesday night we went to watch Hemel Hempstead play against Wealdstone. At half-time we popped into the bar – only because it was cold of course, no other reason, although we may have sneaked in a cheeky brandy to warm us up. We were chatting, and then Fred started talking to some other fans, like he always did, and before we knew it, I had to give him a nudge and say, “’ere Fred, we need to get ourselves back out there, the second-half will be well underway by now.”
When we got out, we discovered that the referee had abandoned the match at half-time! “So, Fred,” I said “back to the car or nip into the bar for a night cap?” I’ll let you decide what the answer was.

In truth Fred was not one of the big drinkers, not like some we get at the club – although they tell me it is only to help the club funds. On a Tuesday night he would enjoy a half of Generals (our in-house own beer), or if it was really cold maybe the aforementioned brandy, but on the whole, he took the healthy options when at football. Yes, he loved a sneaky bacon roll – Sorry Ann! – but in fairness, he would always ask for the fat to be cut off first.

It was not just watching football that Fred was good at, back in the day he was not bad as a player. Never quite good enough to get signed up by Chesham United, but he would be out there in the Chesham Sunday League representing Boughtons – I know that because I came up against him as both a player and a referee on several occasions.
Not a typical Sunday League player, he was always one of the good guys, playing with a smile on his face beneath that legendary walrus moustache. Indeed, if anyone did start to get upset and aggressive, Fred would be the one stepping in and telling them to calm down. It was exactly the same if anyone got hurt or injured, he would be the first one over to check that they are ok and offer any help.

In fact, upon reflection all these years later, it seems a little bit harsh that his nickname on the pitch of a Sunday morning was ‘Tubby’ – I imagine you would get in trouble for calling anyone that nowadays!

During his time at Boughtons Fred would often attend Chesham United away matches on the Boughton’s mini-bus. In particular during the 1990’s when I think he must have been at just about every single match played. There was always a story to tell, but perhaps a favourite of mine was on the way to Hendon’s old Claremont Road ground near the bottom of the M1. Navigation was always an issue; remember we are back in the days before smart phones and Sat Nav so it was down to the trusty old AA map and guidance from the passengers for the driver to get everyone to the destination. On this particular day Fred thought he recognised a car in front as containing Chesham United supporters. “Follow that car” he declared, “I know those people, they will get us to the ground, no problem”

The map was closed and the chatting on the minibus continued whilst the driver followed the car in front. Before they knew it the car had stopped at its destination. Unfortunately, it was not Hendon Football Club they had arrived at but was instead Brent Cross Shopping Centre!

I never did find out if he did recognise the people in the car and they had just opted for a shopping stop on the way, or whether it was a case of misidentification. Either way, I bet the minibus was out of the car park as quick as anything and on its way to the football in time for a quick pre-match half of bitter.

In more recent times he would share lifts to away matches with his good friend Gavin Jones. Generous to the last Fred always insisted on paying for Gavin to get into games in return for the petrol. Nowadays that is not always that cheap, at away grounds it can often be £12 or £13 to get into matches. Of course Fred didn’t pay that much, he would insist that Gavin wore a hat and scarf around his neck to cover as much of his face as possible so that he could get in as a discounted Old Age Pensioner. Now I know that Gavin is only 51 and at Chesham we class an OAP as over 65, but amazingly they got away with it for at least ten games on the trot recently!

That reminds me. I must check what sort of season ticket Gavin has bought for this season.

The memories of Fred at Chesham United are numerous and I could stand here for the rest of the day relaying some of the stories, but perhaps the biggest smile I can remember was on 8th November 2015.

It was the FA Cup First Round Proper. Traditionally a weekend off for Chesham having been knocked out of the competition in one of the qualifying rounds, but in this particular year after wins over Aylesbury, Paulton Rovers, North Leigh and Enfield Town we had made it into the hat with the League One and League Two sides. We all hoped to draw a big-name league club, and we got it. Bristol Rovers away.

For all of us connected with the club it was like a dream come true – I’ll be honest, it is financially very rewarding, but that is not what it was about. It was about the smiles on the faces. Over 650 Chesham United supporters made their way to Bristol for the game, squeezed into a corner of the ground where they would sing and shout throughout the 90 minutes. There is nothing better than watching your little non-league football club playing on a Football League Ground I can promise you.

Well actually there is one thing better. Winning against a football league club. And that is what we did on that day. Against all the odds, against a club about 90 places above us in the football pyramid, Ryan Blake scored the only goal of the game to send the Chesham fans completely potty.

I will never forget that day, and more importantly, I will never forget that smile on Fred’s face that I bet did not disappear once for the whole journey back down the M4 – not even that moustache of his could hide it.

We will all miss Fred, and I feel honoured and privileged to be able to say that on behalf of so many people at our football club. Not least the organiser of our Prediction League, a competition we run each year whereby supporters predict the result of every Chesham league match at the start of the season. Fred would always make sure that all his friends and family members entered a team each year – he would have been so pleased to have known that he actually finished second this season.

His last game watching his beloved Chesham United was on March 26th against Poole Town. An exciting 3-2 win. Fred was never the best with technology and allegedly would often pass his phone to someone else to send text message score updates to his brother. I don’t know on this occasion whether it was Fred or someone on his behalf, but after the game he sent a text message to friends and family simply saying: “What a game, I will remember this for many a day.”

I hope and believe that Fred’s passion for football will not leave him now that he has moved on. I would like to finish with a poem by Michael Ashby that seems appropriate on this occasion:

Football’s a match made in heaven
Which is fan-tastic news for me.
And heaven’s a level playing field
Where anyone can kick-off for free.
The referee needs no introduction
Or whistle for a foul to blow.
When God raises his eyebrows
Nobody argues about the penalty or foul throw.
The transfer window never closes
As new players arrive all the time.
There’s always a top team to play on –
As for the kit, I just wish I’d brought mine
We kick off, side by side in a minute
Cheered by old family, teammates and friends.
Football’s really a blast in heaven
After your first whistle, the matches never end.

A Great Man, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandad, Friend and Football Supporter – Fred, we will all remember you for many a day. Thank you for the fabulous memories.
Rest in Peace.

 

We are delighted to be able to launch full details of our seasonal membership and commercial packages for the 2022/23 season – this is our biggest shake-up in this area for a number of years as we begin our preparations for next season.

Seasonal Membership Packages

For our supporters we have introduced new packages with added value over and above entrance into home matches for those that regularly buy programmes, use the clubhouse and require parking spaces. These are in the form of our silver and gold packages, whilst those supporters only looking for a season ticket to games, this is our bronze package offering significant discounts compared to paying game by game, in addition to free entry to Ladies matches and a 50% discount into Aylesbury United league games at The Meadow.

The admission prices on the gate will be increasing for the first time in nearly a decade, standard adult entry will be £12 with discounts available for concessions (Over 65 & Students with ID). As explained in previous notes, this was not an easy decision, but the simple facts are that the cost of running our business are increasingly significantly and we are budgeting to remain competitive in whichever league we are playing in, whilst continuing to offer the best possible matchday experience.

We will be kicking off the 2022/23 season in claret and blue shirts and we have every intention of having the new floodlights in place to make evening games more enjoyable, as well as being more energy efficient. Once again we are offering early bird discounts for those that buy their seasonal membership packages by the end of Saturday 21st May, and if we did achieve our ambition of promotion through the play-offs this season, we will honour these prices in the National League South.

All of our Seasonal Membership Packages will be available to purchase in the next few days from our Online Ticketing platform – provided by Kaizen Ticketing – @ www.cheshamunited.co.uk/tickets – Please keep an eye on our social media for more information.

We will also be running some sessions at the club where we can help you with the purchase of the season ticket through this new method.

Business Partners

For our business partners we have retained the same prices as this season for matchday advertising, programme adverts, perimeter boards, website advertising and player sponsorship.

The Claret Club returns in a revamped format with many more benefits on offer including a monthly prize draw with regular commercial benefits to be won, the first draw will be made in May with the name on the back of the First XI up for grabs. Other benefits include your name on the scoreboard on matchdays, programme features, a quarterly newsletter and seasonal membership for matchdays.

Full details of all of this can be found in our 2022/23 Sponsorships & Memberships brochure available to view here or by contacting commercial@cheshamunited.co.uk

Ten Generals

New for 2022/23, we are launching our new Ten Generals initiative . An exclusive club for ten corporate supporters that will obtain increased access to the workings of the club behind the scenes, including presentations and consultation from members of the Board. The Ten Generals is limited to a maximum of 10 people. All enquiries please contact chairman@cheshamunited.co.uk.

The club are very saddened to hear of the recent passing of Les Burgess who died aged 81 on Thursday 12th August after a short illness.

Les was the Chesham United team captain in the 1967-68 season which culminated in him leading the team out at Wembley Stadium in front of a crowd of just over 52,000 to play Leytonstone in the F.A. Amateur Cup Final on 20th April 1968.

Les joined Chesham United in August 1967 and played a massive role in the club`s success with both his inspirational leadership as captain and qualities as a player in guiding the team through 16 ties to reach the final. As the captain he was also perfectly suited to the role as spokesman for the team given the considerable amount of attention that the club attracted at the time with requests for interviews, from both the local and national media, as well as television.

Les signed from Wembley and made his debut for the club on 19 August 1967 on the opening day of the 1967-68 Athenian League season in a 1-1 draw against Harlow Town. During that season he made 63 appearances and scored 6 goals, none more important than the one he scored in the hard earned 1-0 victory against Soham United which ensured United qualified for the 1st Round proper of the competition. Les also played for Finchley and St. Albans City and had a second spell at The Meadow during the 1973-74 season.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Margaret, son Tim, daughter Emma & respective families at this sad time.

ACADEMY PRE-SEASON TRIALS

With pre-season underway for our first team, the Academy is set to follow suit in August. Chesham United FC are partners with the Education and Semi-Professional Football Academy (ESPFA) who provide education and football study programmes at non-league clubs across the UK for 16-18 year olds as an alternative to traditional college education.

The programme is part of ESPFA Buckinghamshire, one of 12 regions in the national programme. Based at the football club, students joining the full-time programme will study for a BTEC in Sport Level 3 Extended Diploma, train three times a week with UEFA qualified coaches and represent Chesham United FC in the ESPFA league and cup competitions with all games being filmed and taking place at the main stadia of all clubs involved.

Students also have the opportunity to experience the world of sport with coaching, teaching, photography, filming, media editing, business, hospitality, journalism, physiotherapy and podcasting with the football club and the ESPFA.

There are a number of pathways available on the football side with 63 ESPFA students having made their first team debut since 2014 and over 200 ESPFA students graduating to higher education such as university, US scholarships and the programme’s own bespoke degree course. With the Chesham United senior team’s pre-season programme already up and running, we have already seen Academy players Blaaze Lawrence and Dan Hosier feature in pre-season games and build on their first team experience, after training with the senior team throughout last season.

There are a LIMITED number of places left for school leavers (Year 11) or first year college students who have just finished (Year 12) and a number of trials are taking place over pre-season ready for the September 2021 start.

Thursday 5th August | 2pm – 4pm

Thursday 12th August | 2pm – 4pm

Thursday 19th August | 2pm – 4pm

Thursday 26th August | 2pm – 4pm

at Chiltern Hills Academy, Chartridge Lane, Chesham, HP5 2RG

Interested applicants should register their details at espfa.co.uk/register and attend one of the sessions listed.

 

Below are a number of information videos on what the ESPFA programme is about.

ESPFA Awards Show 2021 – https://youtu.be/0xELCLGE-zA

ESPFA Pre-season 2021 – https://youtu.be/30MQ7tEItKw

STUDY at the ESPFA – https://youtu.be/d6_BCLTSfd8

TRAIN at the ESPFA – https://youtu.be/z-tiLDfZhAA

PLAY at the ESPFA – https://youtu.be/Hd0BfEJdytI

MEDIA EXPERIENCE at the – https://youtu.be/kWj7Wz1wRGk

For more information on the ESPFA programme, please follow the following link:- espfa.co.uk

Chesham United Announce Managers’ Contract Extensions

Chesham United Football Club is delighted to announce that management duo James Duncan and Michael Murphy have agreed a contract extension until the end of the 2022/23, with an option for a further years extension.

“This is simply brilliant news” said Chairman Peter Brown, “as it gives us all the stability to focus our attention on our goal of getting Chesham United promoted to the National League South. As a Board we are very excited about the prospect of what James and Michael can achieve and we look forward to working with them to build a club, not just a team, that we can all be proud of.”

After signing their new deal, James & Michael said, “We’re absolutely delighted to commit our future to the club with this extension. Our thanks go to the Chairman and board of directors for showing their faith and trust in us. The last two years have been difficult seasons for all at Non League levels with two curtailed seasons but we hope now that the 2021/22 season will see a return to normal and a very successful season for the Generals as we look to push forward the National League South.

 A big thank you to all of the supporters for your continued backing and unwavering commitment to the club. It really means a lot to us and the squad to hear your support at games home and away. Up the Chesh”

Appointed as Joint Managers in October 2018, James and Michael have made a fantastic start to their time at the Meadow, guiding the Generals from bottom with 1 win from 11 leagues games at their appointment to a 10th place finish with a fantastic run of form to escape relegation in their first season.

In their first “full” season at the Meadow, James and Michael guided the club to a 2nd place finish in the COVID-19 curtailed 2019/20 season and then a strong start to the 2020/21 season before COVID-19 lockdowns again curtailed the season. Winning 24 of the 40 league games played over those 2 curtailed seasons with 78 points gained.

Prior to joining Chesham, James and Michael were at Potters Bar Town, where in the 2017/18 season they led the Hertfordshire club to promotion into the Bostik Premier Division, before leaving with Potters Bar comfortably settled into the top ten of the new higher division.

“When we made the appointment back in 2018, we were hugely impressed by the enthusiasm, knowledge and professionalism of both James and Michael.” Peter Brown explains “They shared our vision for what this club can achieve, and we were well on track to do that pre-COVID, yet they have stayed focused throughout the unprecedented last two seasons, and we are all very much looking forward to the season ahead.”

The General’s 2021/22 pre-season campaign gets underway next Friday 9th July as we host Wycombe Wanderers, followed by Premier League new boys Watford at the Meadow.

We are saddened to learn this week about the passing away of stalwart Chesham United supporter, Don Flitney.

A former officer of the club, Don has always been very supportive both on and off the pitch offering his knowledge and assistance to the Board throughout many years. Chairman Peter Brown commented: “This is very sad news, I knew Don well and what a wonderful gentleman he was. He always left me with a smile on my face after our many conversations – Even when they were about things like tax and insurance! His passion for the club was infectious, he will be sorely missed by us all.”

In recent times, due to his illness, Don’s love for the club has been via the internet and his many friends that would keep him updated on performances following games at The Meadow. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Don’s family, as soon as we hear news of funeral arrangements we will share the information so that his many friends and acquaintances from the club can pay their respects too.

Thank you for your support

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for your support through these most challenging of times; the loyalty, commitment and messages of encouragement from supporters has helped us through and we can now look forward to welcoming you back to The Meadow.

Our management duo are currently working on an exciting pre-season fixture list in preparation for what we very much intend to be a promotion push in the coming 2021/22 season. There are no guarantees in football, but thanks to the amazing backing of our supporters, the local community and successful grant applications, we are in the best possible position to give it our best shot – Your support on the terraces will play an important role in achieving our ambition.

At the bottom of this we have attached the 2021/22 Season Ticket application form, for supporters that purchased a season ticket last season we are offering a 75% discount for the forthcoming season in recognition of the previous campaign being brought to a premature close. We sincerely appreciate your support in reaching this outcome, it has enabled us to maintain the club throughout the pandemic and helped us to budget and prepare for the season ahead.

Also, on the application form you will find details for booking previously talked about parking space season tickets on a matchday. These are intended for those most in need to be able to park close to the ground when arriving up to 15 minutes before kick-off, including preseason friendlies; we have just a limited number (10) available – you will receive confirmation from the club if your application has been successful.

The Board have also made the decision to cover the costs of renewal for Under 18’s that did have a season ticket for the 2020-21 season, supporters that fall into this category can renew for 2021/22 completely free of charge via the form – We really appreciate your support and hope you continue to support your local club and bring some friends along with you to share the experience.

Please complete your season ticket applications as early as possible to take advantage of the Early Bird discounts, any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the club at seasontickets@cheshamunited.co.uk. For the first time, we have created a fully online option (in partnership with Kaizen Ticketing) for purchasing season tickets and tickets to other club events (charity games, functions etc) to go with the options we have made available in previous years, more info on this service will be available in the coming days and the link will be available from the website homepage.

We are also in the process of finalising a couple of mouth-watering preseason friendlies, which I am delighted to say will be included in the cost of your season ticket – Another reason to secure yours early!

Finally, there is the option to donate the balance of last season’s ticket to the club, which would obviously be hugely appreciated if you did feel in a position to be able to do that and purchase a new ticket at the full price, but we are just thankful for the passion and commitment our loyal supporters have shown over the past months.

I look forward to seeing you back at The Meadow very soon,

 

Peter Brown

Ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, the club are seeking a volunteer(s) to join our Media team to assist with the running of club social media channels, along with other activities and to work closely with the First Team squad, management and other club officials.

The role includes assisting in the running of our social media channels, to creating graphics, to providing written content for the clubs website and match day programme and will dependent on the persons interest.

Requirements:
– A keen interest in football
– Good communication skills & a creative mind
– Basic skills in social media

The available role requires passion and dedication, whilst providing a perfect start for anyone, especially a media student, looking to get into a media career within the Sports industry.

Anyone interested in assisting the club would be expected to attend the majority of our matches where possible, but also is dependent on the role. Those interested in this exciting opportunity should contact the Head of Media via email at ryanw@cheshamunited.co.uk

Following a recent article in the Bucks Free Press, the club felt it only right to clarify a number of points raised that have caused some concern on social media.

The renting of parking space to We Buy Any Car came about following an approach from the company looking for somewhere with a handful of parking spaces to operate, after consultation with our landlords we are going through all the correct planning & procedures and are delighted with the outcome that has brought significant income to the football club at a time when income has been vastly reduced during these COVID times.

In the weekly notes from the Chairman, supporters have been updated with developments, invited to provide feedback and concerns regarding the loss of parking spaces have been addressed, including a new scheme that will allow supporters to reserve places on a matchday – A new initiative that was arrived at from the conversations with supporters, but not as a direct necessity of the arrangement with We Buy Any Car because we are in fact only losing three parking spaces in total as a result of the deal.

The amount of additional traffic will be negligible as it is not a location selling cars, it is an evaluation site where cars are brought along to be checked, it is not like your typical garage forecourt where customers will come to browse an array of cars, and there will be no large lorries coming up the drive to deliver cars, or anything like that.

The truth of the matter is that it has been an exceptional business deal for the club that not only helps secure our future, but helps in our ambition to move forward both on and off the pitch. Yes, there is a small additional building as you approach the club and yes the We Buy Any Car branding is very clear, as it should be, after all this is equivalent to one of the best sponsorship deals the club has ever had!

We appreciate any concerns, but can assure everyone that this latest arrangement is excellent news for the football club and excellent news for the local area. As the world continues to go through changes, we too must adapt and seek new business opportunities if we are to succeed in these strangest of times. We hope that we will be able to build many more business partnerships with other companies, especially local companies that will benefit both parties, our door is always open, but most importantly, our decisions will always be based on what is best for our supporters and the success of our club and local community.

As always, any feedback is warmly welcomed by the Chairman, Peter Brown, at chairman@cheshamunited.co.uk