Well, it’s the day I fear most in the football season, and not because Wrexham’s form is so poor!
The annual collection for our broadcast to Maelor Hospital is what keeps us afloat. It funds the ISDN line which we use to commentate to the hospital and the club website, and it isn’t cheap! Every year I have the same anxieties as I worry about the collection. Will we raise enough money? Will I have enough collectors? Will some random element go hideously wrong?
Recently my fears about the amount we get have been unwarranted. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Wrexham’s fans we’ve done well recently and have been able to keep our heads above water. Although the crowd is likely to be low today, I know there’ll be plenty of generous people keen to give today, either at the ground or online through this link. They are the lifeblood of the broadcast and keep us going.
I also can’t tell you how grateful I am to the collectors who volunteer their time to help out. That’s always the scariest part for me: being an anti-social sort, I don’t have a wide ring of people to call on! However, each year, no matter how many people help out, each of them does an amazing job. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to them all.
Ironically, this wasn’t supposed to be our collection day at all! We were supposed to be collecting before the originally-scheduled Grimsby game, and ironically I had the most collectors I’ve ever had! Frustratingly, the heavens then opened,of course, and I had to apologise and send everybody home! It was the sort of act of God I dread on these occasions, and it meant I’ve had to suffer an anxious build-up to the collection twice this season! There’s a metaphor about Wrexham’s campaign in there which I’m too lazy to dig out!
My fear of unforeseen disasters is, I think, down to a general pessimism which seems, coincidentally, to have grown more ingrained the longer I watch Wrexham! There have been no real disasters in the twenty-five years I’ve been involved in the collection…yet! I suppose my diciest moment came in the early days, when going to football tended to be a more raw experience and hooliganism was a greater problem. With hindsight, going into the away end with a bucket wasn’t the smartest move: as our opponents were Cardiff City, perhaps it was an even worse idea than usual! I actually collected quite a lot of coins, but they weren’t dropped into my bucket: they were thrown at me!
Macclesfield fans seem a rather calmer bunch, and I’m sure a few of them will show their generosity; football fans do have an excellent habit of sticking together, after all. (To be fair, I suspect I’d get a different reaction from Cardiff too, not least because they’ve moved so far out of our orbit that they don’t perceive us to be a threat!)
Whatever happens, I’d like to thank you in advance if you’re able to donate, or use the online donation form above. The work we do helps to make life more palatable for the patients at Maelor Hospital, we hope. I must admit though that I can’t wait until the game begins and I know I’ve got the collection over for another year though!