Lifelong fans appointed to join board at Bower Fold

LIFELONG fans Keith Trudgeon and Phil Hall have been appointed to the board of directors at Stalybridge Celtic.

The pair have both cited helping heal the “disconnect” between the club’s hierarchy and fans.

Keith, 60, is hoping he can help the club re-engage with fans as well as working on new initiatives.

“I would like the club to get back to what it once was, a fans’ club,” he explained.

“It is no secret there is a divide between the board and the fans, and hopefully I can narrow the gap.

Keith Trudgeon

“I would like to make Celtic more of a family club, increase the level of diversity of fans and get more community groups involved, something I am passionate about.”

Keith, who worked as a credit controller for 30 years, will also become heavily involved with Stalybridge Celtic Ladies including taking on the role of assistant manager.

It was back in 1992 that Keith was appointed press officer and recently reached the landmark of 1,500 matches in that capacity.

“I was made press officer in April 1992, when we were in what is the National League, to be a bridge between the club and the local press,” he explained.

“I began to keep records of the matches believing it would only for a short time, never imagining I would still be doing it so many years later.”

It was Keith, raised on St George’s Street, Stalybridge, who brought chairman and majority shareholder to the club in 2001 when it was in serious financial difficulty. The pair had been mates since they were pupils at Hyde Grammar School.

Rob Gorski said: “I am delighted that Keith took up our offer to be a main board director.

“It was Keith who got me involved at Celtic 20 years ago and I know what this club means to him.

He has blue blood coursing through his veins.

“The whole board are keen to work alongside him and I know that he will be a huge asset. We need more people like Keith to join us as we need fresh ideas.”

It is a far cry to when Keith, who lives in Droylsden, attended his first Celtic match as a five-year-old in 1966.

“My aunt Nellie ran the pie hut at the far side of the ground and apparently I spent most of the time sat on the window sill watching the game,” he said.

He picks out the 2000-01 season treble winning side as best-ever team of his time watching Celtic and Brendan Burke as his all-time favourite player.

Phil Hall. Photo thanks to Phillip Smith Photography

Phil, 59, is also a lifelong fan having watched Celtic since his schooldays and until earlier this year was the long-serving kit man and he, too, spoke of the “disconnect” between the board of directors and fans.

He left in November 2020 to become secretary at North West Counties League side Cheadle Heath Nomads which was close to his home in Stockport.

But the demands of being secretary and his job as a logistics manager meant it was difficult combining both.

“Rob (Gorski) asked me a few times to go back and eventually I gave in,” he said.

Phil’s brief on the board will be to co-ordinate matchday operations, including ticketing, turnstiles and stewarding.

Mr Gorski said: “I’m really delighted to have Phil join the board.

“I’ve long admired him as a person as well as being a ‘Celtic-to-the-core’ man. He’s intelligent, positive, driven and real asset to the club and I very much look forward to working with him.”

Phil has been associated with Celtic since his schooldays when he went to matches with his father.

He has worked as a volunteer at Celtic for many years including on the turnstiles and helping with fundraising activities before becoming kit manager.

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