On 5th May the Shots Trust held a fund raising Sportsman’s Dinner with special guest, former Shots legend Steve Claridge.
The discussion as every one arrived at the EBB was, of course, about the fact the Shots had been placed into administration a few days earlier. However, everyone was in good spirits as they socialised in the EBB Lounge before the start, culminating in the entire room giving Graham Brookland a well deserved standing ovation when he entered the room.
Over 70 people attended the evening, including a few ex-Shots – Koo Dumbaya, Andy Nunn and Phil Burns. Andy and Phils presence would become particularly notable later on in the evening! The evening kicked off with everyone tucking into their curry dinner which was well received, Steve Claridge even went back for seconds!
Then came the main event with Graham Brookland introducing Shots Legend Steve Claridge. Steve gave an enjoyable, relaxed performance, reminiscing with some great stories about some of the characters he shared a dressing room with. Glen Burvill, Ian Gillard and Darren Anderton coming in for special attention from Steve. Burv for when after a particular match (think it might have been York City) took it on himself to give V signs to the Shots fans. All in all Steve spoke for around 30 minutes and then took a question and answer session afterwards, during which a re-enactment of one of the greatest goals ever seen at the Recreation Ground took place!
Graham Brookland, who was hosting the Q and A session invited Andy Nunn and Phil Burns up to the floor and described in vivid detail a particular moment in March 1993. It was the Hampshire Senior Cup Semi Final, over 6,000 fans had crammed into the Rec for the match with many estimates suggesting there
were nearer 7,500 in the ground. It was pulsating cup tie and it was locked at 2-2 as the game entered the final minutes. Extra time and maybe even penalties looked on the cards. Well they did, until Mr. Nunn hit a 35 yard backpass to keeper Phil Burns, unfortunately for Nunnie he caught it sweetly and the ball sailed over Burns head and nestled into the corner of the net! Andy and Phil both took it in great spirits and hilarity ensued as they acted out the moment.
Lastly there was an auction hosted by Trust chairman Terry Owens. There were some great lots, in particular a necklace courtesy of Goldsmiths, Jamie Young’s actual goalkeeper shirt, a £100 carpet voucher and the main item donated by Steve Claridge himself. This was an England shirt signed by a number of legends including the likes of Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Lee Dixon to name a few. He even gave the winner the option of getting Alan Hansen’s signature on it but this was politely declined! Steve then stayed and happily signed autographs and chatted freely to supporters
All in all it was a great night and the feedback from everyone who went has been fantastic. We raised over £750 for the Trust