It has been extremely difficult to select Exeter City's nomination for EFL Supporter of the Year at the Annual Awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in London next month.
We received many outstanding suggestions in response to our recent website feature and our club is extreme fortunate to have so many outstanding supporters who go the extra mile. After much deliberation it has been decided to support the strong credentials of Phil Bater as our nomination this year. He joins Di Lee, Neil Le Milliere and Greg Hill, our winners in previous years.
Phil has been a supporter for over 57 years and season ticket holder since 2003. His credentials are fantastic. As a dedicated volunteer and true Grecian he is a willing credit to the club in a number of capacities.
Phil is a member of the Exeter City Supporters' Trust, East Devon Grecians and Senior Reds’ Group. He was elected chair of the Senior Reds, having taken the baton from Geoff Gearing and moved the group to a new level.
The Group was first suggested by Steve Perryman who experienced a similar project at Brentford and under Phil’s leadership, the Senior Reds has doubled its membership and provided a regular and exciting programme of events.
As a group of older supporters Phil has striven to encourage the fans of tomorrow by developing links with the Junior Grecians. He has also introduced their sponsorship of an under-16 Academy player. The group host monthly meetings with guest speakers (usually an ex player from 30 or more years ago) these prove even more popular as 'reminisce sessions' for those attending. Through the group newsletter he keeps in touch with members to can't attend sessions for health or travel reasons.
Phil has also done sterling work this season helping to raise money for the Junior Grecians Family Zone and the handrail project.
He is probably best known to people outside the Senior Reds as one of the team that help sell tickets for all ticket games, and as the first point of contact as an Ambassador in St James Road.
As an Ambassador he has excelled helping existing and new supporters as well as visitors from other clubs. His relaxed persona and knowledge make them feel welcome and gives him the opportunity to tell them a little about the club.
With Sue he has transformed the Fountain Centre roadside front 'garden' giving further testimony to the Groucho Marx expression 'behind every successful man is a strong woman.' With Ray he has also helped with cataloguing the history of programmes that have been produced over the years.
With the East Devon Grecians he is a regular 'stuffing' the 5000 CITY Community Trust holiday club envelopes every term and half term. Phil also liaises with Avocet and GWR to lead a team of volunteers annually tidying St James Park station.
Finally, Phil participates in Peter Ferlie’s wellbeing walks, he broke his finger as goalie in Walking football! and is a marker for The Big Quiz. Phil has played for Exeter City Walking Football team in the Devon League, as well as in a tournament in Portugal, where the club were runners up a few years ago.
We wish Phil well when his nomination is considered along with the candidates proposed by the other 71 EFL Clubs.