Supporters’ group hold special gathering at St James ParkThe Senior Reds supporters’ group celebrated their fifth anniversary with a special gathering in the Grecian Centre at St James Park this month.
The Senior Reds launched in January 2012 by Steve Perryman MBE, Julian Tagg and Geoff Gearing. The group currently has around 70 members and proudly boasts City legends Alan Banks and Jimmy Giles as patrons. Both were present on the day, along with Bob Wilson and Keith Bowker.
The occasion formed part of the Heritage Lottery Funded ‘History of St James Park’ project, and guests were invited to spend the afternoon together to share and discuss their memories of supporting Exeter City.
At the event members selected their all-time Exeter City XI, which included: Kevin Miller, Scott Hiley, Shaun Taylor, Jimmy Giles, George Friend, Steve Neville, John Delve, Lammie Robertson, Gordon Dale, Alan Banks, Tony Kellow.
Senior Reds founder, and Exeter City director of football, Steve Perryman was a guest of honour at the event, fondly recalling how the group was founded back in 2012. Members were also asked by the team of the History of St James Park project to bring their own memorabilia to spark conversation and debate amongst the group, alongside items from the Grecian Archive, a digital repository which collects images, films and ephemera as well as oral histories.
Phil Bater, Senior Reds chairman said: “The Senior Reds have developed over the last five years, both in terms of membership and range of activities, and aim to continue this for the foreseeable future.
“The club’s collaboration with Gabriella Giannachi and Will Barrett from the University of Exeter has had a really positive impact on our group, so much so that we now regularly use prompts to spark off memories. Working with them has encouraged us to look at how we engage as a group in a number of new ways and this has helped us to value our history and build a stronger sense of belonging to the City community.
“Members enjoy these opportunities to share memories of former players, club and match officials and fellow supporters. Our oldest member is aged 94 and recalls players from as far back as 1931, and a recent count showed that our 67 members boast between them a total of 3,045 years of supporting Exeter City F.C.
“We are proud to be taking part in the HLF programme, to record and document the valuable memories of our members, as well as working alongside the other Grecian groups in support of our unique club”
The group is aimed at seniors or long-term supporters of the Grecians, and activities include monthly meetings with guest speakers, recently featuring legendary Grecians Sean Devine, Shaun Taylor and Peter Hatch, the occasional quiz, sports afternoons, and working alongside local residents and students.