50/50 hits the 21st century

Feb 1, 2021 | 50:50, News

I never thought that when I was selling my 50/ 50 tickets on Tuesday, 10th March 2020 they would be the last ones I would be selling for a very long time, at least 18 months by the looks of it!! At that time there was talk of a virus which was starting to get a grip on the country and within a couple of days of our victory over Sunderland games were called off. Two weeks later we were in lockdown and the rest is history.

As a supporters club we have, in recent years, given the profits from the 50/ 50 draw to the Academy. Fortunately we were still able to use money from our funds to still donate our committed funding of £23,000 to them.

Once the 2020/21 season started it was obvious that once again fans would not be allowed back for the foreseeable future. At that time as a committee we knew we had to do something to raise funds for the Academy. An online draw was the only option as even if we were allowed back in to the ground the health and safety issue of selling tickets/handling cash would make this impossible. Somehow I managed to volunteer (?) along with David our secretary to look into if this would be feasible. A phone call to Jerry Gill pointed me in the right direction of who to speak to at Bath City as they run their own online draw and I was lucky to get some ideas of ways to progress this going forward.

As I am definitely not computer minded I called on Elliott Porter of Weblake is the Supporters Clubs’ website developer for assistance. Once I had explained what we wanted and how it would work Elliott worked his magic! He is a very busy man but knew we were keen to start to raise funds for the Academy as soon as possible and luckily for us he pulled out all the stops to get our draw up and running. With help from Keith & Neil Brookman providing photographs of players produced by the Academy things began to take shape. We decided that draws would take place every Saturday to raise as many funds as possible. When a ticket is purchased the system automatically allocates a random number to the purchaser for each ticket bought. At 3.45 on a Saturday afternoon the winning ticket number is generated by the system and I login to our website to find out who the lucky person is.

On December 15th we proudly unveiled our online draw. Tickets went on sale for the first draw on 19th December which should have been our home game with Oxford United until covid decided otherwise. There was a moment of embarrassment and humour when the first winner was Elliott himself who purchased tickets to make sure the payment window worked. He very generously donated his winnings back to the academy

Each week the prize has been more than the previous week and we would like to thank everyone who has got on board with this and supported us in our efforts to raise money for our Academy. Our thanks also go to Wael, Tom Gorringe, Geoff Twentyman and Lance Cook for promoting this on social media for us. With all of your help we can help Chris and his team produce more players to go on to represent the quarters.

Helen Wigmore