Tag: frank bell

fa vase final

Consett AFC season tickets for 2021-22 now on sale – come and join the Conny Army!

Consett AFC aim to bounce back from their FA Vase disappointment by going back to Wembley – and this time taking the Conny Army with them.

After having a taste of the big stage, Chairman Frank Bell wants to go one better by lifting the trophy next season, in front of the club’s dedicated fans.

Planning for the 2021-22 season is underway already, and season tickets will go on sale from 9am this Thursday, May 6.

Existing adult season ticket holders who didn’t request a refund for the curtailed 2020-21 season will pay the same price, £100. The price for new applicants is £110.

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Season tickets for the 2021-22 campaign are available from May 6. Pic: Gary Welford.

Concessionary season tickets, for supporters aged 65 and over, will be £60 for existing holders who didn’t require a refund, and £70 for new applicants.

Junior season tickets will remain at £20 across the board, with even cheaper deals available for Consett AFC Juniors players and coaches.

Priority

Season ticket holders who didn’t request refunds will also receive priority for cup or all-ticket matches next season.

Chairman Frank Bell said: “Season ticket income is vital when planning ahead, and we really appreciate the support, particularly from those fans who didn’t ask for a refund when this season was curtailed.

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Ali Alshabeeb rounds Hebburn’s keeper to open the scoring in the FA Vase final. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

“Our FA Vase final against Hebburn was an excellent advert for non-league football, at a time whe many people are falling out of love with the professional game.

“BT Sport said they had never seen such attacking, exciting football, with no yellow cards, no players diving or rolling around claiming to be injured.

“Hopefully the FA will have seen what this level of football means to those involved, and to the communities that clubs such as ours are part of.”

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A limited number of special virtual tickets remain for fans wanting a souvenir of the FA Vase final.

As well as season tickets, Consett AFC still has a few programmes and a limited number of virtual tickets left for anyone requiring a souvenir of our unforgettable Wembley appearance*, with proceeds from the latter going to local good causes.

Season tickets, Wembley souvenir programmes and FA Vase final virtual tickets are available by calling at Belle View Stadium in person, or calling 01207 588886.

* The match being played behind closed doors meant no official programme was produced by The FA, so we produced a 48-page full colour Special Wembley Edition of our matchday publication The Steelman.

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The Special Wembley Edition of The Steelman produced by the club for the FA Vase final is already a collectors’ item.
fa vase final

‘Humbled’ Consett AFC chairman’s praise for ‘great team effort’ for FA Vase final

Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell today paid tribute to the dedicated officials and volunteers who helped the club prepare for the FA Vase final at Wembley.

The delayed 2019-20 game against fellow Northern League club Hebburn Town was the biggest game in both clubs’ history.

Consett took the lead twice in the first half with goals from Ali Alshabeeb and Dale Pearson, but Hebburn levelled twice through Amar Purewal and Michael Richardson.

Both sides had chances in the second half, but the winner came from Hebburn substitute Olly Martin, who netted in the 84th minute.

Today, looking back on the historic cup run and the behind-closed-doors final, Frank said he’s disappointed at defeat, but proud the club has helped put Consett on the map.

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Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell was pumped up as the club contingent set off for Wembley. Pic: Gary Welford.

“Everybody involved with the club – the management, coaching team and all the administrative staff and volunteers – played their part in preparing the way for the lads to go out and do their best. It was a great team effort, and everyone has done a superb job.

Incredibly proud

“I’d also like to thank our sponsors, who stuck by the club during what have been challenging times for many, and our suppliers, who turned things round at often very short notice, producing some quality products.

“I would like to say that as club chairman, I was incredibly proud of what everybody achieved yesterday – not just the players, but everybody associated with the club.

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Consett’s players line up for the national anthem before kick-off at Wembley. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

“It was a great game, and the lads showed on the pitch that we have a quality team which we have built over a period of time.

“We not only did the club proud, I think we also did the town proud. We couldn’t have any fans there, and the stadium was eerie without them. But they were with us in spirit, on the video we made which was played on the giant screen as the players warmed up.

“In the run-up to the final we received so many messages of support, and I was truly humbled at the number of people who turned up at Belle View Stadium on Sunday to see us off. Support like that makes a big difference, and we really appreciate it.

Time to push on

“Now we need to build on the platform that going to Wembley has given us. We’ll be looking to make improvements where they are needed during the close season, to help us push on.

“I want to go back to Wembley next season for another FA Vase final, and this time win it with our fans present. And I want to earn promotion by winning the Northern League.”

fa vase final
Consett captain Arjun Purewal acknowledges the support from the hundreds of fans who turned up to watch the squad leave for London. Pic: Gary Welford.

fa vase final

Consett AFC chairman congratulates Hebburn Town on FA Vase win – and says ‘Now go and do it again’

Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell today congratulated opponents Hebburn Town on yesterday’s FA Vase win – and told them: “Now go and win it for the Northern League again.”

Frank was devastated after seeing the Steelmen throw away the lead twice at Wembley, before conceding a late goal to lose the delayed 2019-20 final 3-2.

But he was magnanimous in his praise for the victors, who could yet go on to retain the trophy, as they are still involved in the latter stages of the 2020-21 competition.

“I’d like to congratulate Hebburn Town on their win. We gave it our all, but it wasn’t quite enough, and they are worthy winners.

“I would like to personally thank all the senior guys at Hebburn, who have been a pleasure to deal with over the last few months as we worked together to try to make the final happen.

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The small contingent of Hebburn Town officials who were allowed to attend the behind-closed-doors 2020 FA Vase final. Pic: Gary Welford.

“With a heavy heart, I’d like to congratulate them on their win, and wish them all the very best in the new Step 4 league next season.

“They also have a really good chance of winning it again. They have a quarter-final at Warrington Rylands on Saturday, and a home semi-final if they win that.

“I wish them the best of luck and hope they go on to represent the Northern League in the final as well as they did yesterday.

“We played our part in an excellent match, but I think the fact they’d had a couple of challenging games in this season’s competition, whereas we’d mostly been playing friendlies, made a difference.

“Our lads performed really well and I’m very proud of them, but the last 20 minutes took its toll on that giant Wembley carpet, and they had more players who had 90 minutes under their belt.”

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Hebburn Town captain Louis Storey and his team-mates celebrate winning the 2020 FA Vase. Pic: Gary Welford.
fa vase final

FA Vase final: Consett AFC issue special Wembley souvenir – here’s how to get it

Consett AFC are counting down to the biggest day in the club’s history, when they take on fellow Northern League side Hebburn Town in the FA Vase final at Wembley on May 3.

Sadly, the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown means the game will take place behind closed doors, with only a few representatives of either club present, instead of thousands of supporters.

The fact there will be no crowd means The FA won’t be issuing an official match programme, to the disappointment of fans and collectors alike.

However, conscious of the fact that many people tuning in to watch the game live on BT Sport will want a souvenir of the big day, Consett AFC have produced their own.

It’s a bumper 48-page full colour Special Wembley Edition of our matchday programme The Steelman – that’s 50% bigger than usual.

Road to the FA Vase final

Produced by programme editor Gary Welford in association with non-league programme specialists FootiePrint.co.uk, it’s packed with features and pictures from our road to Wembley.

There are exclusive articles by chairman Frank Bell, manager Terry Mitchell, captain Arjun Purewal – who could be facing his twin brother Amar! – and North East football writer Mark Carruthers.

Arj also takes us inside the dressing room, while midfield maestro Luke Carr tells us what it’s like to play, score and win the FA Vase final at Wembley, and there’s a selection of fans’ good luck messages to the lads for the big day.

We turn the spotlight on our opponents too, looking at their route to the final, and the players we’ll face under the shadow of the famous arch.

The Special Wembley Edition is £4 to click and collect, or £5 to have posted out to you. To order yours, call in at the club between 9.30am-10pm Monday-Friday, email consettafc@live.co.uk or call (01207) 588886 and we’ll tell you how you can pay.

Virtual match tickets, priced £8, are also available, along with special FA Vase commemorative shirts and banners. Every ticket purchased will help local youth causes and the If U Care Share Foundation, which works to prevent suicides.

Consett AFC are selling virtual tickets to raise money for good causes. They do not give access to the game or BT Sport’s live coverage.

Consett will face Hebburn Town in the FA Vase final at Wembley on May Bank Holiday Monday

Consett have today been told by The FA that our much-delayed 2020 FA Vase Final v Hebburn Town will take place at Wembley on Bank Holiday Monday, May 3.

However, continuing restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus mean the game will be played behind closed doors, as under the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown spectators are not allowed at non-elite football until May 17.

The kick-off time is not yet known, but the eagerly-awaited showdown against our Northern League rivals, and the FA Trophy Final between Harrogate Town and Concord Rangers, which make up Non-League Finals Day, will be screened live on television by BT Sport.

Consett AFC Chairman Frank Bell said: “I’m obviously delighted the club will be able to fulfil its dream of playing at Wembley at last, but I’m absolutely gutted it will be behind closed doors.

“I have been in regular contact with The FA since we won our semi-final in September, closely co-operating and trying every which way we can to get the game played in front of our supporters.

“We have waited as long as we possibly could and explored every possibility with The FA to try to ensure that supporters would be present.

“Unfortunately, there were lots of other factors to be taken into consideration, and this is the one and only opportunity they could give us to play the final at Wembley.

“I feel so sorry for all the fans who are going to miss out on the chance to watch their team play at the home of English football, but we will do our very best to bring the FA Vase home for them.”

A statement issued by the FA said: “Despite our best efforts to accommodate limited spectators, a suitable date was sadly not available, and both the Buildbase FA Vase Final between Consett and Hebburn Town and Buildbase FA Trophy Final featuring Harrogate Town and Concord Rangers will be played behind closed doors.

“We will continue to monitor the national Covid-19 situation alongside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and would also like to thank the remaining clubs in these competitions and their supporters for being patient and understanding during this challenging time.”

This season’s FA Vase will re-start behind closed doors on Saturday, April 10, with the final to be held at Wembley on Saturday, May 22, with limited spectators present, in line with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

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.