A brilliant bunch of hard workers at The Bridge Meadow Stadium!

The hard workers at the Bridge Meadow

The Bridge Meadow Bunch:

Have you heard the story about the Welshman, the Englishman and the Scot? Of course you have!
Well, at the Bridge Meadow Stadium there is a story to be told about FOUR Welshmen, TWO English geezers and ONE from North of the border who have an average age of almost 69 – but are all actively involved behind the scenes in a range of activities like ground maintenance, painting, stewarding and almost anything else that is needed to make the ground look as fantastic as it does now!

Committed to the Supporters’ Association – and an average age of 69!

Most of them are committed members of the Haverfordwest County Supporters’  Association, augmented by assistant coach Micky Ellis, who has taken on the temporary care of the pitch, along with Kevin Haldane, the man from Falkirk in Scotland.
When we dropped in for a carefully orchestrated evening visit in social distancing the whole gang was there, with this intrepid pair doing some cleaning and maintenance of the sit-on mower, assisted by random advice from some of the others like Englishmen Reg Pithouse and Alan Adams, plus other home-grown lads in Alan Thomas, Eddie Bunston and Barrie Webb.
Their combined age of 577 years gives them an average age of almost 69 but their eagerness to help The Bluebirds and their joy that manager Wayne Jones and his squad will be using the superb facilities to play in the forthcoming season in the Welsh Premier League.

Alan was chosen as a director as reward for all his hard work

Former postman Alan Thomas typifies all that is good at The Bridge Meadow Stadium because he not only loves the football but is always ready to ‘muck in’ with any work needed there
He has been heavily involved behind the scenes with Haverfordwest County after years of following them despite having to work sometimes on Saturdays in his job as a postman.
Now a measure of how Alan is appreciated can be gauged from the fact that he is a founder member of The Bluebirds’ Supporters’ Association and was elected as chairman for five years before stepping down.

Chosen as a club director in recognition of his work

He was also chosen as one of the six club directors with a specific responsibility for the well-being of the stadium and has taken the job seriously.

“Since I have retired from work I have a little more time so I pop down most days to see all is well and when we did have some vandalism for a short while I liaised with the police and club chairman David Hughes.
During his visits he also looks out for any cleaning up work needed with regards to verges, paths etc and is happy to help with other cleaning chores.
On match days he works closely with wife Mandy with regard to providing hot post-match food for all the players and officials, and ensures there are enough hot dogs, hamburgers, crisps and hot drinks for supporters to buy from the serving hatch.
“Mandy joins her friends Jane Webb and Emily Adran at home matches and do a great job in both areas.”
As someone who has tasted their grub and seen how much Alan Thomas does for The Bluebirds we can only say long may all four continue their efforts on behalf of Haverfordwest County!

Big Reg’ brings his special brand of Cockney Humour . . .

If you want a bit of humour from this motley crew then it is to be found in the oldest member in Reg Pithouse, now a youthful 80 years old, 19 stone in weight (he’s lost three stone in the pandemic!) and still very much a cheeky chappie from London who came here 32 years ago.
He arrived in Spittal after suffering a heart attack and with wife Bron decided it was time to end his work as a lorry driver and transport manager and live in a place he had enjoyed on holidays.
Big Reg played in goal for Brentford Juniors 65 years ago as they played at Grove Park in Chiswick and was an avid fan of Brentford AFC.
In the last 15 years has been involved at Haverfordwest County, especially as a match-day steward directing traffic outside the ground (you get the impression that underneath that jovial exterior there is someone not to be tangled with). Only the day before we met up he was helping Alan Adams, Alan Thomas and Kevin Haldane to knock down the old club shop, which he admitted was bloomin’ hard work!
Reg is amazing though, because since he left ‘The Smoke’ he has had another two heart attacks, seven minor strokes and a quadruple heart bypass – and throw in two major operations on troublesome shoulders and a general picture of poor health might emerge – but ‘Big Reg’ chuckles at this list as only he can.
When I asked him how he manages to stay so cheerful his answer was typical.
“I hope to be here for a while yet because ‘im up above hasn’t got enough food waiting for me and ‘im down below is afraid I might take over his job!”


. . . And ‘Bristol Boy’ Alan loves his involvement!

At 72 years of age Alan Adams still retains his soft South Gloucestershire burr and although he is a very keen Bluebirds’ supporter but still follows Bristol Rovers, his childhood favourites.
“As a youngster I played for Clevewood in the Bristol & District League and represented Gloucestershire in the 100 and 200 metres – but I guess I might have slowed down just a bit now,” he admits with a big grin.
Alan and his wife Val had visited Pembrokeshire on holidays and eventually decided 22 years ago to buy a house, which he is still renovating
“After a short while I started watching Haverfordwest County and when The Supporters’ Association started I was the first and only vice-chairman because I’m still in the role now.
“On match days I help sell the programmes, raffle and tote tickets and travel to as many away match as I can with my old mates here.
“I do most of the carpentry jobs around here and I was involved when we recently took down the club shop, which was no mean feat with the lack of lifting gear we had and our combined ages!


Kevin loves Haverfordwest but is still a Falkirk boy through and through

At 57 years old there is no way you couldn’t understand where Kevin Haldane hails from because he has retained his rich Scottish accent that means you have to listen carefully to understand his regular pearls of wisdom.
He hails from Falkirk, in the Central Lowlands of Stirlingshire, and although really settled here with his wife Sharon, a local girl from Llangwm, he still makes an annual pilgrimage to watch his old favourites play.
“I represented Scottish Schools as goalkeeper in a team that included Gary Gillespie and Kevin McAllister, who both went on to become professional players – but then my career took me into the RAF and as well as being stationed in Kinloss and Cyprus I had two visits to Brawdy, where I met Sharon and fell in love, and the rest is history, as they say!
“As well as playing until I retired from the RAF (we beat Milford Athletic 3-2 in 1984 to win the second division cup) I later went on to enjoy myself with Hook and Prendergast Villa, winning cup medals with both.
“20 years ago I was working for Preseli Taxis, which were owned by The Bluebirds, and I started watching them. I was there 50-60 hours a week and on quiet night shifts it was nothing to be cleaning out the changing rooms at 3am!
“I started helping out Dan Duffy on the pitch and assisted others to gain the experience I am now using with Micky Ellis – and I’m proud to be chairman of the supporters’ association as well as helping out behind the bar on match days.
“I also enjoy going off with the rest of the boys for away matches, when my work as a driver for the Paul Sartori Foundation allows – and it is great we can all help out for Haverfordwest County because we all believe it is a great club!”

Eddie has returned to play his part for The Bluebirds

Eddie Bunston was born and bred in Haverfordwest and has always followed The Bluebirds despite living in Telford for a long time in his work with the Central Ordinance Depot which was run by The Army.
But since he returned to the county town he has worked really hard for Haverfordwest County and is an absolute credit for his unstinting work as a real unsung hero.
“When I was at the COD in Donnington I was chairman of the social club (4,000 members) and we had a team in the Wellington League. I had never played much football but one week the team was a man short and I was roped in to play on the wing in a game we lost 11-1 – and I was never asked again!
Eddie returned home around ten years back and was soon working flat out at The Bridge Meadow.
“I wasn’t working for a while so I was at the ground almost every day doing anything needed, and on home match days I have always enjoyed stewarding the car park – although it means I miss some of the match and can only guess by the crown noise how we are doing!
“Today, when I have the time, I’m happy to do anything needed, like cleaning the changing rooms and toilets – and I have been a member of the supporters association since it started.
“I’m proud of the fact that I managed to get Jehu to sponsor the supporters’ club’s weekly ‘Player of the Match’ awards and got sponsorship for the half-time refreshments that were very popular.
“I just enjoy being involved, love the trips to Falkirk, and at 71 I hope I will still have plenty of time to carry on helping such a great club!”

Barry finished reffing and became a Bluebirds’ worker

Barrie Webb is Hon Secretary of The Bluebirds’ Supporters’ Association and on match days he also performs another role because he is in charge of the stewards in a range of activities as he is the man responsible for Health and Safety.
He also looks after the match officials, which is appropriate since he was a referee himself for 32 years in the Pembrokeshire Football League – and officiated at a range of cup finals, as well as being an assistant ref at four Senior Cup Finals.
As a nipper he used to play for Haverfordwest on the old Bridge Meadow Field and after stepping down from using his whistle he was delighted to start helping out at Haverfordwest County and was another founder member of the supporters’ association, working closely with David Lewis, the Hon Treasurer.
“I really enjoy what I do now as I work alongside some lovely people, whilst the players, coaches and club officials are great too – and I am very happy to help out in anything I can!

Coach Micky also deserves a mention

Micky Ellis also deserves a mention for his yeoman work on the ground during the pandemic – as well as being responsible for the floodlights as he clearly has a head for heights alongside his friend John Roberts – the pair clearly having a head for heights.
Micky is also one of the coaching staff who work alongside manager Wayne Jones and for some time was the only one to hold an FAW  ‘A’ Licence as reward for his experience, attending courses and willingness to learn over an extended period.
Ask anyone involved with Haverfordwest County and they would surely say that he was a very fine footballer in his day but is also an even finer gentleman off it.
“It’s a pleasure to work on the ground with these lads whenever I get the chance, “Micky told us, “and I love being involved in maintenance as well as the footballing side.
Talk to Micky Ellis and see him involved in either role and it is easy to see how lucky Haverfordwest County are to have him still so involved!
 Bridge Meadow Stadium