Bill Shankly once said that football was more important than life or death, wrote Murry Toms in our programme notes for the Cambridge United match.
Of course the great man was wrong, although there are times when it feels like that.
The idea for turning the club blue was a Trust one and the club’s board should be applauded for once again, backing an idea that came from the supporters. It’s a simple but effective way of rallying around two of our own at a challenging time in their lives.
It’s what communities are all about and it’s what Cheltenham Town Football Club does best. The joint event between us, the club and the British Lung Foundation should raise a huge amount of awareness around lung disease and a fair few quid along the way.
November also is Lung Cancer Awareness Month so Monday’s announcement is timely. We will be sharing stories and other articles leading up to the Crewe Alexandra match so please read them, and share away. If we help one person through this initiative, then it’ll be worth it.
On the day the Trust are planning to host an ‘fans fest’ with DJ Shippers, building the atmosphere with good music ahead of the game. Afterwards we’ll be auctioning one of the one-off match shirts for the charity and our aim is to bring everyone together for the cause.
Football has the power to do so much good. This forthcoming weekend the charity Stonewall will be promoting its Rainbow Laces campaign to bring LGBT issues in football back to the fore. It’s another simple idea that catches the eye and delivers a powerful message.
The corner flags at Forest Green Rovers will be rainbow coloured, as will the captain armbands. Many players will be sporting the laces in a show of solidarity to support lesbian, gay, bi and trans-gender fans, players and staff across the game.
It’s important to continue to challenge archaic attitudes both inside football and within the wider society, and this campaign is a terrific example of how you can harness the game to do that. Maybe one day a player will feel safe enough to come out because let’s face it, there must be dozens that are too afraid at the moment to do so in the professional environment.
Saturday promises to be a memorable day as a thousand Cheltenham fans make the trip to Nailsworth for the county’s first league derby. Make sure you leave yourselves enough time to get up the hill and enter the ground. Let’s put on a real show down there and show them what it means to support a proper football club.
Gloucestershire is red (and blue on December 9).