Star of the Month – October 2019

Alan and Mandy Thomas and Bill Carne


Alan and Mandy are ace at the Bridge Meadow Stadium!

There are a number of key people involved in the background at The Bridge Meadow Stadium who are dedicated to maintaining Haverfordwest County's status in the top echelon of The Welsh League - and there is no doubt that one of those who puts in the most time there is Alan Thomas, whose yeoman efforts have been rewarded by his being made a director.

In fact, since he retired as a postman he usually spends a part of every weekday doing some work at the ground and on match days he is often there even longer as he sorts out the food needed for the players' post-match meals and for the cafe - and it is great to note that he receives every support from his wife Mandy.

Mandy plays a great supporting role

She helps sell the tea, coffee and other grub to supporters before moving on to the teams and officials, whilst Alan organises the car parking attendants, programme raffle-ticket sellers. He is also great pals with all the players; amongst them skipper Sean Pemberton,
Nicky Palmer, Ricky Watts and the rest.

Even at late-evening events, like the junior section's presentation evening in a large marquee, when over 300 were in attendance, and the open-air screening of the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' film, the Thomas family was well represented, working late into a successful evening.

On week days, there are other routine jobs for Alan like cleaning changing rooms or toilets, clearing litter or making the pitch surrounds look tidy, and helping groundsman Kevin in marking the pitch or keeping the playing area in pristine condition as he ferries the cut grass into place; or making sure that anything else needs doing alongside stalwarts like Eddie Bunston, Alan Adams, Reg Pithouse, Colin and Brian Thomas.

Mutual respect with the Bluebirds

Small wonder then that David Hughes, the Bluebirds' Chairman, told us,

"Alan is one of a small band of really hard workers who put in a huge amount of effort and we are lucky he now has the time to spend here. Mandy also does a great job on the catering side."

It is a mutual admiration pairing though because Alan also praised the total commitment of David, Barry Vaughan and Rob Davies in keeping the club in the top three of the JD Cymru South League.

“What we do is small in comparison,” he says, “but we really enjoy being involved.”

Both are very modest about their roles but all their efforts are really appreciated at Haverfordwest County AFC!

Almost four decades completed now

Alan's involvement at The Bridge Meadow Stadium goes as far back as 1980 after  joining the Post Office and being taken down to watch a game by Gordon Oakley, one of the senior postman, and really enjoying the atmosphere there. It wasn't long before Winston Griffiths, who a great man at the club in his day, asked if he could help with the raffle and it wasn't long before Alan was doing it on a regular basis.

In the intervening time he was one of the founder members of The Bluebirds' Supporters' Club and took over as chairman from the late Kevin Bryce before recently handing over the reins to Kevin Haldane, the club's poplar Scottish fan.

Kind heart shown at a test match in Cardiff

A few years ago Alan also took the course to qualify as a sports steward under the auspices of English Cricket, the English Football League and the Welsh FA, and is very happy to help at international cricket matches at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

In his most recent cricket international between England and India, he worked within the area for disability and afterwards he was supposed to take an Indian gentleman in his wheelchair a certain distance outside the Sophia Gardens confines but when he found they were still quite a distance from the car he completed the trek - only to be gently reprimanded on his return for taking too long!

And finally . . .

Back in football, Alan enjoyed some friendly football in his youth for a team in Roch which was managed by Barry Barker and had Mark Ashman in goal.

"But then my work  in the Post Office meant often having to work weekends - but I managed to watch as many Bluebirds' games as possible - and am more involved now than I ever thought possible."

From our experience that is certainly the case because Alan Thomas does a great deal of unsung work at the Bridge Meadow Stadium – so we are really pleased to make him our 'Star of the Month' as a small reward for being a top Bluebird!