Tag: frank bell

FA Vase semi-final refunds: How to get one if you have an unused ticket

Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell today issued a personal message to fans who were unable to get into the FA Vase semi-final, and advised how they can claim a refund.

Due to continuing restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the club was only allowed to have 300 paying spectators at the game versus Bitton on Saturday 5 September.

Now, with the FA Vase final postponed until such time as fans can attend in reasonable numbers, but no guarantees as to how many tickets we will be allocated, the club has made the decision to refund money now to those semi-final ticket holders who missed out.

Frank said: “First of all, I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ for your patience during these challenging times. The club has, during lockdown and over the last several weeks, worked tirelessly with the Government department DCMS and The FA to increase the numbers that we could allow to attend the FA Vase semi-final.

“The club has also been working to try to secure guaranteed final tickets for those fans who bought semi-final tickets, but were unable to get in. During these negotiations last week the Government issued new guidelines for Covid, meaning the total number of attendees at the FA Vase final would be reduced to 1,000.

“On the original total allowance only 6,000 tickets were being released to fans – 1,500 to each of the four finalists. The reduction of the capacity to 1,000 effectively meant no fans would be allowed in to watch the final on 27 September.

The FA agreed to postpone the FA Vase final until fans can attend at Wembley Stadium.

“As such we requested a delay in the final until such times as the Government and The FA could allow fans in to Wembley. Hebburn agreed with our request, and I can only thank them for their co-operation, which has been excellent throughout these difficult times. I should also like to thank The FA, who have listened sympathetically to ongoing requests to try and do what we can for the fans.

“The FA are still determined to play this competition at Wembley, as is the wish of the sponsors and everyone else involved. The club has done all that it can with regard to try to achieve the best outcome for fans, with the matter escalating as far as the Secretary of State.

“However, the club cannot give any guarantees on future tickets at this time, and as such we can announce the arrangements for fans who secured tickets for the semi-final but were unable to attend.

Consett’s players celebrate beating Bitton to secure a place in the FA Vase final.

“The club will be open from Tuesday 15 September to Friday 25 September, from 10am to 8pm, to refund semi-final ticket holders who require a refund. Refunds can only be received at the club on the return of tickets.

“Many of you have donated your ticket money to the club, and for this and your ongoing incredible support in these challenging times the club is truly grateful. However, these have been challenging times for lots of families in so many ways too, and we should not forget that.

“The club would like to thank you for your incredible patience during this period, and going forward we will do our utmost to secure as many tickets as possible for our fans for when we do go to Wembley. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Tony Bradley thanks the Consett AFC ‘family’ after his tragic lockdown loss

Consett AFC stalwart Tony Bradley has thanked all his friends at the club for their support after he suffered a tragic loss during the coronavirus lockdown.

Tony, who is a supporter of many years’ standing, and was the groundsman at our old Belle Vue Park ground, lost his partner Audrey Cox on 8 May after a short illness. She was 73.

A mother of two, and a dearly loved grandma and great-grandma, Audrey was also a familiar face at our games until she took ill, and used to help out in the boardroom kitchen at the old ground.

Speaking on behalf of Audrey’s family, Tony said: “We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the many friends who helped in giving our beloved Audrey a wonderful send-off.

“I would personally like to thank Frank and Dianne Bell, John Hurst, and all the club members, supporters and everyone else for their generosity.

“We were really touched by the many cards, donations and food parcels we received, and appreciate all your words of kindness.”

Consett are TV stars as BBC Look North visits Belle View for return of fans to football

Consett AFC received some very welcome publicity today when the club was the subject of a BBC Look North news item about the return of fans to non-league football.

Reporter Andrew Hartley and a cameraman attended our friendly versus Morpeth Town yesterday – the first game since the partial lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions where we have been allowed to admit supporters.

The result was a two-minute feature on tonight’s regional news about the club and the steps it has taken to make sure Belle View Stadium is a safe place to visit.

Chairman Frank Bell was interviewed, along with several supporters, about the phased return to having crowds at football.

For anyone who missed it, the feature is here.

‘I’m one of a great team’ says grateful Dave after winning award from The FA

Club official David Pyke, who this week won a national award for his contribution to grassroots football, today modestly declared: “I’m part of a team.”

As well as being secretary of Consett AFC since 2007, Dave has been involved with Consett Juniors since 1994.

But he was stunned to hear this week that he has been named Volunteer of the Year for Durham County in the Grassroots Football Awards run by The FA in conjunction with McDonald’s.

And he was even more taken aback by the tide of congratulations which followed on Facebook and Twitter after we broke the news on the club website.

“It’s great to win an award, but the response on social media, kind words and sentiments blew me away. It was like being able to read your obituary, which won’t be due for a while yet, I hope.

Andrew Pearson, Frank Bell and David Pyke at the old Belle Vue.

“I would just like to say thank you to everyone. There are a lot of volunteers at Consett AFC and I hope this award helps recognise I’m one of a great team.

“The seeds of a community club were set at the old Belle Vue, with strong influences from John Hurst, Tommy Connelly, Andrew Pearson and Anthony Robson.

“Then along came Frank and Dianne Bell plus a new stadium and we’ve never looked back.

“Above all, it is a safe environment for young people to enjoy sport, stay active, meet people and make friends. Long may it continue.”

David Pyke with former Consett AFC chairman and current President John Hurst.

The boys are back! Consett enjoy their first post-lockdown training session

Consett AFC’s players and staff are back in business, more than four months after they won at Atherstone to secure their place in the FA Vase semi-finals.

The partial easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions meant Terry Mitchell and his team were able to train last night for the first time since March.

Most of last season’s squad were present at the socially-distanced session, which went ahead after chairman Frank Bell completed a risk assessment for Belle View Stadium.

As well as the familiar faces there were two new signings, Lewis Green from Thornaby and Carl Lawson from Sunderland RCA, plus a handful of trialists.

Although full-contact training isn’t yet allowed under Government and FA guidelines, Terry and his staff gave the lads a good workout.

They put them through a series of drills, including dribbling, passing, set-up play and shooting, as well as general fitness work.

Terry said afterwards: “It was great to be back on the training pitch again with the coaching staff and players.

“There was an excellent turnout, it was great to see everyone again, and the lads’ base fitness levels look good.

“The two new lads were welcomed by all the players and staff, and they both showed good fitness levels and quality on the ball.

“We are all looking forward to seeing our fantastic supporters again when we can play games – sooner than later, we hope!”

A programme of pre-season friendlies has been provisionally arranged. Dates and opponents will be confirmed once we have a start date for the return of competitive football.