Very sad news this week as 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 minibus to matches.
There was always a story to tell – many of them perhaps not appropriate for public consumption, but perhaps a favourite I was told about 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! I think many of us will have fond memories of Hendon’s old ground and I am sure they were not the only ones to have ended up in the wrong lane when reaching the bottom of the M1 on the way to that fantastic old ground.
Fred will of course have remembered the 1968 FA Amateur Cup Final fondly and it was wonderful to hear that the remaining players from that great side have come together to organise a claret & blue reef for the funeral – true recognition of what a great supporter, and what a great loss Fred is. The funeral takes place on Tuesday 31st May, 3.15pm, at Amersham Crematorium.
Whilst the majority of our players are enjoying a well-earned rest, our congratulations go to Jeanmal Prosper who made his international debut for Dominica last Sunday, playing alongside his brother in defence in a 3-1 friendly win over St Vincent and the Grenadines – I wonder if he could arrange a pre-season friendly for us in the Caribbean whilst he is out there!
Talking of friendlies, we are still in the process of making contacts and developing our list of matches. As we know, the days of being able to attractive first team squads from the top level of the game are long gone as they head off to the States and the Far East to play in much more lucrative fixtures, albeit often against teams from their own league. It always amazes me how the top professional clubs seem to suffer the most from tired players, yet happily trot off all around the world for friendlies – I guess that is what money has done to football. It’s the world we live in, but we have to get used to it.
We will however have some good competitive games to look forward to, and I for one cannot wait. Of course the league season is not over for everyone and it would be remiss of me not to wish our neighbours Wycombe Wanderers all the very best in their play-off final at Wembley tomorrow – what an occasion that will be against such a massive club as Sunderland. No doubt there will be a huge following from Buckinghamshire heading up the M40 – successful or not, remember, we will be hosting a friendly whether it be against a League One or Championship side as part of our pre season. We are also hosting Hemel Hempstead!!
I am also delighted to confirm that we will once again be partnering with the Bucks Mind charity for the 2022/23 and already have our first fundraising event planned. There will be a concert at St Mary’s Church in Chesham where, along with the Chess Valley Male Voice Choir, we will be privileged to be accompanied by the internationally acclaimed Treorchy Male Choir. Seriously, if you have not heard these guys sing before you will be well and truly gobsmacked by their spine-tingling performance. Watch this space.
Have a great weekend.
Peter Brown, Chairman