AFC Wimbledon sponsor Paul Strank talks about his MBE
Club sponsor and lifelong Wimbledon supporter Paul Strank said he was surprised to be selected for an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
– and the licence plate on his car certainly meets with our approval! Having been involved in charity work since 1982 and been a valued member of the local community for so long, Paul (pictured above) certainly deserves to be recognised
However, Paul said: “I am just a roofer and have been doing that since 1969. I thought that honours like this were for pop stars, celebrities and war heroes. I think for a roofer to get an MBE is unusual. You get to hear about it five weeks before it is announced, but you have to keep it quiet. The letter says that I have been recommended by the Prime Minister to the Queen to receive an MBE– I must have read it over and over again about 12 times!”
Paul, who has, of course, sponsored a stand at the Cherry Red Records Stadium for several years and is a key backer of AFC Wimbledon, was announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours List at the weekend for his services to charity and the community in Wimbledon.
His company, Paul Strank Roofing, have been involved with charity fundraising for Children In Need for many years and their own Pudsey the Bear has been seen at many of their local events. During recent years the Paul Strank Roofing annual gala has gone from strength to strength. The 2013 event on 21 September, featuring Peter Andre and other celebrities, is once again a sell-out with funds raised split 50/50 between Shooting Star Chase and onelifeuk.
Both of these charities do valuable work in the community with Shooting Star Chase helping the families of children with life-limiting illnesses and onelifeuk are a London-based charity who provide essential life skills to young people through DJ/Music and Film Production academies.
Paul, who has also regularly provided scaffolding services for free at community events such as the Wimbledon Village Fair, has been a Wimbledon supporter since the 1960s and was a steward at Plough Lane.
“As a kid I played for the football team at All Saints School, near Plough Lane, and I can remember getting a school pass to go and watch Wimbledon play,” said Paul, who is now 61 years of age. “We were in the Southern League then and I have followed the club ever since, including being a steward at the old South Stand when we were at Plough Lane. I have watched Wimbledon’s great days at the FA Cup Final and winning the play-offs at Manchester, but at the end of last season my heart was pounding during those last few games. I think we will do a lot better next season though.”
Everyone at AFC Wimbledon will certainly hope that Paul is right and the club wishes to congratulate Paul Strank on his richly deserved MBE award.