Berwick Rangers Supporters’ Club became the largest shareholder of Berwick Rangers Football Club earlier this year, continuing what has been 75 years worth of backing.
The next goal is to increase our membership so we would like to invite anyone interested in joining to come along to our monthly meetings and become part of the future success of Berwick Rangers Football Club.
We all have one thing in common. We are committed to supporting Berwick Rangers.
Fundraising is vital and, to that end, we are indebted to John and Eleanor Robertson, who donated a considerable number of shares to the supporters’ club and also allowed the supporters club to purchase a large block of shares enabling them to become the largest share holder in the club.
Berwick Rangers Supporters’ Club was formed on Wednesday November 3, 1927 after a large and enthusiastic meeting of supporters in the Long Room of the Corn Exchange in Sandgate.
The functions of a supporters’ club, back then, was to provide social intercourse amongst its members with the idea of arranging social and fund raising events that would bring them together with the profit helping the club.
By the season’s end the Berwick Rangers FC Supporters’ Club was well established, with delegates attending the football club’s weekly committee meetings, and had raised the princely sum of £16 towards helping their everyday needs.
In the early 1950s, with the football club in a severe financial crisis, the supporters’ club took over the financing of the grandstand at the new Shielfield Park.
In 1954, at a cost of £400 they succeeded in building Shielfield Park Grand Stand. Seven years later the Ducket was built – completing the mission to have a full and welcoming football stadium. Continued fundraising efforts and tirelessly working by members resulted in the money being raised to have floodlights installed in 1972.
The influence of the supporters’ club dwindled as the years went by but it was reformed in 1992 after Berwick Rangers went into administration.
Peter McAskill, along with John Hush and Conrad Turner started up the BRFC Supporters Club Weekly Scheme which is still in operation to this day. The hugely successful scheme has handed over £350,000 to Berwick Rangers.
This is a testament to the sterling work carried out by the Supporters’ Club committee, the agents who sell tickets, and the general public who have subscribed to the scheme throughout the years, as without it there would be no football club.
The £1 per week scheme has been and still is a big part of our fund raising effort and we would like to invite more people to take part and increase the weekly fund to help Berwick Rangers move onwards and upwards.
During 1994, the supporters’ club committee, along with other good friends of the football club, including Berwick Borough Council gave interest free loans to enable the lease of the ground to be bought back for £55,000.
In 1996 Berwick Bandits Speedway returned to Shielfield for the second time which helped increase the financial support the Supporters’ Club are able to give the football club.
Since its reformation in 1992, the supporters’ club have given in excess of £570,000 to Berwick Rangers. This money has been a tremendous help to the club and went a long way to helping them meet their expenses and commitments.
The supporters’ club is heavily involved in match day operations and ensures that all match day duties are fulfilled. Behind the scenes support is ongoing and many jobs and maintenance has been done in the stadium and on the pitch. The recent pitch drainage work was carried out by ground staff with the materials and volunteer labour being supplied by the supporters club.
Regular fundraising activities such as quiz nights, race nights and manager talk-ins have not only helped keep money coming in, but also went a long way to raising the profile of the supporters’ club and keeping the supporters in touch with what is happening at the club.
Fundraising schemes such as the Sponsor a Seat Scheme has proven that the supporters have appreciated being involved in helping the club improve its facilities but also to have their name, or the name of someone close to them, proudly displayed for eternity on the Wall of Honour.
The Sponsor a Seat scheme for £20 has raised over £12,000 since it began in October 2007, with over 600 seats having been purchased by 242 sponsors. The scheme continues to be popular and will carry on until all old seats have been replaced with new galvanized framed yellow seats.
Each year the annual yearbook is written and published by supporters’ club committee member Alan Bell, costs for printing are covered by sponsorship from local businesses’ and all proceeds from sales benefit Berwick Rangers Football Club.
The current board of directors, of which three are members of the supporters’ club, have the clubs finances firmly under control, but do need the support of the fans, especially through the turnstiles, to help increase the gate receipts and, of course, give their full backing to the team.