Article From the Amber News see more here
Visitors to the Abbey are often struck by the family feel of the place, and that’s as it should be. Ours is a club that has been raised and succoured by its community – a community in which everyone is related by strong bonds and blood ties. We all bleed amber and black.
Sometimes, as happens in every family, those bonds are loosened: supporters discover new lives far from Newmarket Road; players call it a day or move to a new club; employees follow the dictates of their careers.
These fractures in the family occur naturally, but there’s no harm in trying to ensure the bonds, although loose, remain in place. In fact it can be a very positive thing, and that’s one of the reasons 100 Years of Coconuts launched Cambridge United Former Players’ Association last year as part of its two-year Lottery-funded project. We wanted to try to bring the extended U’s family a little closer together.
Seven months in, I believe we can say we’re succeeding. CUFPA membership stands at 130, comfortably beating the first-year target of 100 we, under Rodney Slack’s chairmanship, set ourselves. We’ve communicated with members via newsletters, the association website (cufpa.org.uk), emails, letters, phone calls, personal contact and social media. We’ve had a couple of informal get-togethers in the Supporters’ Club/Abbey Lounge (obviously of more interest to locally based members than others). We’re starting to look at how CUFPA might be able to play a more active role in its members’ lives; you’ll hear about that if and when it happens.
Almost without exception, ex-players have been pleased to hear from CUFPA, and happy to join – it doesn’t cost them a penny, by the way, and they get a smart little badge. Recent joiners have included Jon Sheffield, Tony Willson, Lenny Pack, Paul Jeffery, Robbie Simpson, Ian Benjamin and the one and only Brendon Batson (who knows a bit about ex-players’ organisations: he’s president of the West Brom FPA).
You can play your part in strengthening our family ties. If you know of a former player, coach or manager – at whatever level, from youth upwards – who might want to join CUFPA, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, texting 07775 658441 or chatting to a Coconutter.