It’s time to vote for the Supporters Player of the Year
— 3 minute read
As we enter the final month of the season, attention turns to who will be our player of the season.
At Cheltenham Town the award for Supporters Player of the Year has a special resonance and importance for the Robins Trust.
Later today (Saturday, April 6), the forms will be out and the Trust, working alongside the Football Club, will be asking for your pick to be the fourth winner of the Bryan Jacob Cup.
From the National League title winning season onwards, an agreement was struck with the Club to name the supporters’ award in Bryan’s memory.
And if you’ll forgive us going over old ground, with every year that passes it becomes more and more important to remember Bryan and his outstanding legacy to the club – and more importantly, the club’s supporters.
When the first meetings were held back in 2004 over the possibility of turning the Cheltenham Town Independent Supporters Association into a Trust, Bryan was there.
I was the Trust’s founding chairman and Bryan was the Trust’s founding secretary. Be left in no doubt, however, that he was the brains and the braun behind the organisation from day one.
Bryan was the man who sourced our first share certificates, paid for our first batch of membership pin badges and sourced a dodgy copy of a database programme for us to do our record-keeping on.
In the eight or so years that followed the Trust’s formal inception in 2005, Bryan was at the centre of everything we did, he was the workhorse of the Trust.
Along with fellow board member Leo Hoenig, He and I attended numerous Supporters Direct annual conferences in London.
It was travelling to and from London for these that I got to know Bryan the man as well as I knew Bryan the Trust secretary.
From his life in the forces in Asia to settling in Gotherington, to our shared passion for travelling to Australia we spoke about many, many things.
He never did tell me that the Trust were to be the sole beneficiary of his will, however.
So it was something of a surprise when after his death in 2013, the Trust received notification from a solicitor that we were to receive his inheritance.
It was that incredible gesture that led to the Trust investing £200,000 in Cheltenham Town in 2015, securing a Fan Elected Director and ensuring that supporters were represented at the club’s top table.
I have always used the mantra that Bryan didn’t leave the money to the club, he left it to the supporters of the club – and I will remember that more than ever when the Cup that bears his name is handed to this season’s deserved winner.
The winner will follow Danny Wright, Billy Waters and Mo Eisa in having their name engraved on the base of the trophy, but their inscription always plays second fiddle on that Cup to Bryan and his amazing legacy.
So, when the forms go out, or the tweet directs you to place your vote. Do so, not only to reward this year’s best performer, but to thank and recognise Bryan Jacob and his legacy given to the supporters of our Football Club.