Leading the field: Merv Bell

Merv Bell
Chairman, Gosforth Bohemians. Est. 1894 (re-established 2001)

Background

I’ve been chairman for four years but first became involved in the club as a player in my mid-twenties.

Club’s essence

A traditional amateur club where everyone is prepared to contribute.

Finance

The club is different to a lot of other adult clubs in the area in that we adopt a ‘pay-to-play’ ethos. Annual subs are paid at the start of each season and match-day subs before each game. We are supported by sponsorship from Winn Solicitors and Stagecoach, and The Three Mile Inn in Gosforth has also given us a lot of support over the years by providing post-match food and being a kit sponsor.

Biggest obstacle

The club has faced a number of obstacles that could have resulted in us folding. Eight years ago, the clubhouse boiler stopped working. It may not seem like a major issue but under current rules, if a club can’t provide hot showers after games, then the facility isn’t allowed to be used. With a lot of hard work, help from players, club members and grants we raised the £10,000 for a new boiler.

Future plans

We want our first team to maintain our Northern Alliance Division One place and are looking to bring in some younger players to help future-proof the club.

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Leading the field: Martin Hillerby