Season Annual Excerpt: Peter Jones on The Christmas Miracle 2016

This is an excerpt from the 2016/17 Season Annual, designed and produced by Lew Currie. While physical copies are sold out, digital copies are available now from the West fan club website for £1 – click here to buy. This piece was written by Peter Jones about last season’s Christmas Miracle game. 

It’s June 2017, the office windows are wide open and I’m regretting wearing one of my thicker shirts to work and yet my head is thinking back to the West Christmas Miracle. Had I wrote this directly after the event, I imagine I could tell you lots of things that happened on the day but with 6 months and too many pitch-side Krombachers to my name, I just feel look back and feel a genuine sense of pride for the day and the club.

Having invited a food bank down to the match, I woke up nervous that it would be a disaster. This is the natural football fan mind-set.

“Why have we organised an event for peak postponement season?”

Fortunately the weather God’s blessed us so the match was on. It was soon time to march on down to beautiful Brookburn Road. I popped to Morrison’s so we would at least have a few things to donate, en route Barca Jim handed over another bag that was so laden with generosity, it was hard to carry. (My upper body strength has never been much, mind).

“One table should be big enough for it all, right?”

Stevie Setts pre match instructions, as thorough as ever, meant that players started arriving with bags and bags of donations. Deano had done his own mini collection of friends and family so there was four bags full of donations. Selection boxes and Christmas puddings all started to pile up. The team did us proud.

“There’s some room over there, get it moved as more people are arriving”

Soon another table was needed, then extra storage, then even more storage. The staff from the Food Bank were as happily chatting away, taking more and more donations. It was overwhelming how everyone had got involved.

“That’s the fanciest pasta I’ve ever seen”

We still don’t know who donated the pasta that had clearly come all the way from Italy but we do know that a family in need will have enjoyed it so thank you mystery pasta connoisseur.

The result? I genuinely can’t remember. On days like the Christmas Miracle, it’s a sideshow to the community and friendships that make up our football club. A non-league football match took place but in reality by all contributing to a local food bank, we made a real difference for real people.

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