Alan Birchenall

The Birch: Show Our True Colours

Leicester City's Club Ambassador, Alan 'The Birch' Birchenall, pens his latest fortnightly column for LCFC.com...
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During these extraordinary times, everyone at the Football Club, myself included, is missing each other, but we’re doing our very best to keep our Leicester City family together.

One of the ways I’ve been trying to stay in touch with the Blue Army is by ringing a few of our older supporters, just for a natter and a catch-up to see how they’re getting on.

Unfortunately, one of the days I picked to give people a bell was April Fool’s Day – so it took me a while to convince people it was actually me on the other end of the line!

You’d have thought my deep, froggy voice would have been a giveaway, but it’s been brilliant to speak to some of the supporters during what is undoubtedly a difficult time for many.

We’re all having to adjust, and I’m being looked after by people close to me, many of whom work for the Club, although I do miss my lunch from Gaz, our head chef at the training ground!

If you're a little younger than I am, please make sure to pick up the phone and check in on your older relatives and make sure they’ve got everything they need.

Even if it’s just for a chat about how their day’s gone, it means the world to people to hear from their loved ones while they’re shielding themselves from this horrible virus.

It’s the little things which make a massive difference.

All of us are missing the football – and what an occasion it’ll be when we’re all back inside King Power Stadium, together as a family, when we get through these times.

Of course, football pales into insignificance at times like this, but the bonds we’ve forged over the years can unite us all. It’s times like these when a family shows their true colours.

I’ve been so proud of the way our family, the Blue Army, all over the county and the world, have pulled together. We’re there for each other and nothing can break that unique bond.

Just before I sign off, I’d like to write a few lines about a man who is very special to many of us at Leicester City Football Club.

Over the past few weeks, the Club was deeply saddened to hear that a life-long supporter of Leicester City, Bev Richardson, has sadly passed away.

Bev loved Leicester City. He was always there on matchday, cheering on his beloved Foxes, and when the Club fell in administration in 2002, he was one of the quiet ones behind the scenes who donated his own money to save us from a terrible situation all those years ago.

Every matchday, without fail, I’d see Bev and his lovely wife Angie. Those of us on the staff at King Power Stadium who’ve been there forever remember Bev going back years and years.

After my heart incident a few years back, the Club looked after me and trimmed my activities on a matchday, but I’d always make a point of finding Bev and Angie to have a chat.

I’m absolutely devastated that Bev has passed away and I’m sure a lot of Leicester City fans who knew him will be too.

During these times, we won’t be able to attend his funeral, but we’ll all be thinking of Bev and his wonderful family. He was a fantastic supporter and a brilliant friend.

Just finally, I know it might feel odd to stay at home for such a long period of time but please remember why we’re doing it: to protect our magnificent NHS and to save lives.

All of the ‘hidden helpers’ in our society - the supermarket staff, the people delivering goods across the country, all the care providers - they need us now more than ever.

Stay safe, take care.

The Birch

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