Date Posted: 09/10/2018
Roger and Gillian Le Page are usually a familiar sight at all of Guernsey FC’s away games, and are fondly looked upon by many as the unofficial ‘grandparents’ of the Manelanders community. Roger is 71 today, and Gillian also celebrated her birthday a few weeks back, but unfortunately between the celebrations they have also experienced some testing times recently.
Roger and Gillian have been forced to miss several matches over the past weeks, as Roger has sadly been unwell and as a result has no longer been able to drive himself and his wife to the games from their home in Tiptree. As if the health scare was not enough to contend with, the fact they were missing out on their beloved GFC games and friends made matters even harder to bear. Director Nigel Braybrook was concerned at the regulars’ uncharacteristic absence, and on discovering the reason behind it, he visited Roger in hospital, and hatched a secret plan to put the smile back on the Le Pages’ faces.
Enlisting the help of some fellow Manelanders, Nigel’s idea was to have a whip-round to pay for a taxi to bring Roger and Gillian to the Thamesmead Town match last Saturday, then deliver them safely back home again afterwards. Nigel is keen to stress that Manelander Debbie deserves the [green] lion’s share of the credit in bringing this plan to fruition, as not only did she research and taxi-booking, she also baked one of her famous special GFC-themed cakes, which was presented to Roger and Gillian in the bar after the match. Despite the result, the team were delighted to share a piece of the cake with Roger and Gillian and welcome them back after their enforced absence.
Director Nic Legg was in on the plan and had travelled to Thamesmead with the squad. “Up until that point it had been a miserable day,” he explains, “with the cold rain lashing down and a performance we’re probably all keen to forget as quickly as possible. But the gloom and the cold all melted away in the bar after the final whistle, and our hearts were warmed and lifted to see Roger and Gillian again, and witness their reaction to our surprise.” It’s safe to say the gesture meant the world to Roger and Gillian, just as they mean the world to the GFC community, and it served as a timely reminder that the club is about so much more than just what takes place on the pitch. “It was fantastic to see Roger and Gillian again, and both in such good spirits,” explains Nic. “We have really missed them over the last few weeks and can’t wait to welcome them to Footes Lane on their next trip to Guernsey.”
I’m sure you will all join us in wishing Roger many happy returns on his special day, and while you’re at it, please also extend those wishes to GFC Chairman and fellow birthday boy Mark Le Tissier, who is also celebrating today, though, we hasten to add, with somewhat fewer candles!