Review of 2011

Well, what a year 2011 was for both the Club and KHIST!

It started with us knowing the Club needed to generate substantial funds to see it through to the end of the season, and to partly help in that respect, KHIST launched the 2020 Lottery Scheme with the first draw taking place in January. There are now some 226 people paying by monthly standing order, and with the sale of individual tickets also, we have managed to raise £21,732.90 for the Club in the first twelve months. The Lottery is now bringing in roundly £2,000 a month, so it should be an even better 2012. Can I say a big thank you to all those who have contributed and congratulations to all the winners (I used mine to sponsor hostess Louise). Just think though how much more could be raised if all our members (500 currently) could sell just one £5 book a month!

Things though came to a head in February when negotiations for Chris Swan to buy the Club broke down. Following a meeting with KHFC, KHIST then launched an extensive media and fundraising campaign, including ‘Operation Full House’ which saw the crowd for the Altrincham game more than double. Looking back, with the collections at the home games and around Kidderminster, I was overwhelmed by people’s generosity, and well remember the wad of notes and bucket full of coin, literally to the brim, we collected at the Altrincham game alone. On top of that, we had some not insubstantial individual sums donated, and Kimmy Loves Cake started a Twitter campaign which at one stage saw funds flowing in to our Paypal account at the rate of £1000 every 15 minutes.

York City Supporters Trust

Although other Clubs’ Supporters Groups came along to the games at Aggborough, to my knowledge the only Supporters Trust to organise a collection for us was York City, raising £750, and I’m delighted to be able to thank them again today for their tremendous gesture – it will long be remembered.

Of course, KHIST was only one part of the equation, and whilst we raised some £30,000, the substantial contributions of other principled supporters were invaluable, and they should be loudly applauded.

KHIST has now achieved one of its aims by having a representative as a Director on the Club Board, initially with Karl Davies, but now with John Davies of Hire It. We have always felt it important for the fans’ voice to be heard, and look to work with the Club to ensure its long term future. We must never again slip back towards the abyss.

So what else was KHIST doing last year?

In March we showed a re-run on the 1994 FA Cup victory over the Blues with former players attending, and also held a concert by local rock band ‘Sons of Beaches’, raising over £1500. Then in May, the KHIST fans’ football team held their annual fundraising event at Aggborough, with former KHFC legends Paul Davies, Kim Casey, Mick Tuohy, Delwyn Humphries, Jon Purdie and John Deakin turning out for us. The event raised £2000. The fans’ team was also enjoying national success and reached the final of the British Supporters Cup in June, disposing of the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Motherwell along the way, only to lose narrowly to a late goal against Preston North End. And the Harriers Trust side continues to do well in the Kidderminster Sunday League, being the only Kidderminster based team in the Premier Division.

We have continued to support the Club by sponsoring the 12th Man team position (won by Pete Kearns), our advertising board and the programme centre pages, and running the player of the month award and a sports quiz. We also provide a number of volunteers on match days, and, in conjunction with the Club, we have taken an active involvement in organising the Junior Supporters Club this season with membership doubling to over 150.

At this point, I would like to thank my predecessor, Dave Pountney (and also his understanding wife, Becky), for all the hard work he has put in since taking on the Chairman’s role in October 2010. At times he has needed some very broad shoulders! So too, must I thank the rest of last year’s KHIST Board, Karl Davies, Adi Harper, Dave Williams, Laura Harper, Sheila Thomas, John Wagstaff, Martin Lewis and Jono Smith, who have all played key parts in our achievements, and everyone who helped us out during the year.

Torquay re- run

Can I remind you that we are showing a re-run of our first ever League game against Torquay in The Academy on Monday 30 January at 7.30pm. Tickets are £3 and we expect to have former players attending.

Finally, the Club is looking to KHIST to provide £30,000 towards its budget this season, and whilst the Lottery will account for most of this, every amount we receive is vital to us, and by extension to KHFC. There are several people who have not yet renewed their memberships, although to be fair a lot joined only 12 months ago, so could I ask those people to sign up again now and take us back to the record level of 700 last year.

Thank you for your support everyone.

Steve Millington


Photo – Courtesy of Stefan Rapacz