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Celebrating with the “Batsford Boys”

Event summed up the progress made by WiSH

17 April 2023

Club News

Celebrating with the “Batsford Boys”

Event summed up the progress made by WiSH

17 April 2023

There was a special annual celebration for a group of Dons fans recently as they were joined by true heroes from our past.

Yes, it was THE ultimate pub date in more ways than one for WiSH (Wimbledon in Sporting History) volunteers!

That's because they got to share stories from a golden age in Wimbledon history with former players whose achievements will never be forgotten - Kieron Somers, Dickie Guy, Ian Cooke, Billy Edwards and Jeff Bryant.

The "Batsford Boys" - players who gave everything for the club cause and lifted Wimbledon into the league under the astute management of Allen Batsford - presented certificates to volunteers for their hard work as part of the annual celebration for WiSH.

Allen's wife Maureen also attended the event in the Phoenix Pub.

Chris Hutchinson, WiSH Head of Volunteering, said: "It was important to recognise the hard work of our volunteers and to acknowledge them in a special way. One way to do this was to host our annual celebration with Dons heroes in the stadium pub. This made the event particularly special.

"Our guests presented certificates and also told fascinating stories from ‘back in the day’, before answering questions from WiSH volunteers. It was an experience that we'll never forget!

"There’s a large team behind WiSH and I’d like to acknowledge and thank them all for their support. The dedication and passion of many of our WiSH Volunteers is fantastic. What has been achieved so far is phenomenal and I have no doubt it will continue."

During 2022, WiSH’s work has continued at a rapid pace. Everything WiSH does is self-funded, with no cost to the Club. Indeed, WiSH Stadium Tour guides and hosts, along with sales of WiSH products, raise funds for the Club.

In the past year WiSH Volunteers completed a staggering total of 7,817 hours dedicated to preserving and celebrating the Club’s heritage. This is the equivalent of many full-time members of staff and if paid would cost over £280,000.

This work has resulted in many things including:

  • Stadium Tours Administrator appointed. Tour group well organised and delivered
  • Original Plough Lane turnstiles renovated and on display
  • 'Womble 'Till I Die' gates delivered and now being renovated
  • Timeline, Heritage cartoon, and other work completed in the stadium
  • Display cabinets collected, fixed, dressed, and placed around the stadium
  • Art installation at the front of the stadium and Womble bench
  • Memory capture film recorded and launched
  • WOPA helping to organise invited former players as guests on matchdays

John Lynch and Mick Pugh received special trophies to thank them for their immense contributions to WiSH. 

All at WiSH thank By The Horns staff for opening early for the event and helping to set everything up for such a special occasion.

Can you help?

WiSH are always looking for proactive, reliable volunteers, so if you feel you have something to offer, please get in touch by e-mailing info@wimbledoninsportinghistory.com .

In particular, WiSH are looking for a Tour Guide/Host Administrator, so please let Chris and his team know if you fit the bill.


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