Many Shades in The News

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The observant amongst you will notice that the photo is of the Many Shades of Grey team from our recent Spring Festival.

L-R are Mick S, Pete D, Barry I, John “the hat” H, John M, Jeff P and Keith Mc.




Rich Bonsey festival – an update

You will all be aware that following the football shenanigans last Sunday, an evening of quizzes, raffles and auctions took place at the Westleigh.

All the notes, coins and washers have now been counted and the grand total raised now comes to a staggering £1,090.00.

For very good reasons, which can be read on the Many Shades Forum, this sum will be passed on to Southampton University to support their research into cancer immunology.

Further details of the amazing work being carried out at Southampton can be viewed here.

So, a Big Thank You to everyone who turned up last weekend to organise (you know who you are) and to take part in an incredible day.

Below, are a few reminders of the day’s events :

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Proceedings got under way at a very damp West Leigh Park with a Portsmouth-ITC-plus-ringers team v. Mountbatten-Centre-plus-John-Morgan

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The Rich Bonsey All Stars team was managed by Stew who proved beyond doubt that, as suspected, he was indeed the love child of John Motson and Napolean

IMG_4636 (2)Next up, saw the debut of the Rich Bonsey All Stars v. Emsworth.
That’s Tony (in orange) in full command of his area.

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James opens the scoring and, in his usual shy and under-stated manner, salutes his adoring fans

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With Lee Roberts officiating, the cards were never going to be in the pocket for long.
Here, Les from Emsworth sees yellow and heads for the sin bin.

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The cards are out again and, despite Man United-esque protests from his team-mates, Shaun Gale makes the walk of shame.

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With Shaun back on the pitch, Rich Bishop plays a perfect ball into the box for him to run, sorry walk, on to …

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… and Shaun … actually, I can’t remember what happened.
He probably missed.

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With whatever match it was on a knife-edge, James blasts his penalty wide.
Fridge magnets of this photo are available on request.

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As always, CJ was on hand to lead the community singing.

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Rich Bonsey

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Rich Bonsey sadly passed away this week after a long and determined battle against cancer. All in the Hawks community offer our condolences and best wishes to his family. More than the rest of us, they will miss his infectious humour, hugely entertaining anecdotes, and straight-talking attitude to life.

Although originally a West Ham fan, on moving south he became a Waterlooville supporter, and then followed the Hawks after the ‘Ville joined with Havant Town. The linesmen at West Leigh Park will miss his sage advice, which he offered them freely.

Rich was a very enthusiastic member of the Many Shades family, and his fighting spirit against his disease was inspirational. Although his playing appearances for us were few, he would attend training sessions whenever he could, and if he wasn’t well enough to play, he would referee or would act as a team manager. He treated every week, every day, as a victory over cancer, as a chance to put a finger or two up to it. One of his ways of celebrating those victories with us was to buy us doughnuts for after every training session. His message was that we should all celebrate our own good fortune more thoughtfully, rather than taking it for granted.

Rich’s support of, and commitment to, the Many Shades meant that towards the end of 2016 we nominated him for Havant Borough Sports Association’s Veteran Sportsman of the Year, but kept it secret from him so that it would be a surprise if he won, and no disappointment if he didn’t. He was absolutely made up to have won it, and extremely proud of the nomination citation. Apparently it was the first sporting trophy he’d won since 1967.

Last summer he was in two minds about buying a Hawks season ticket, wondering if he’d live long enough to see enough games to make it financially worthwhile compared to paying on the gate. He bought the season ticket. Recently he had told Lee Bradbury that he was determined to live long enough to see the Hawks win the league. He did that too, and for his last home game, against Bognor, he was accompanied in the crowd by his son Jamie.

During the last few weeks, Rich had been planning a mini-tournament and quiz night to be held at Westleigh Park and I know he was looking forward to being Quizmaster General. Sadly, it wasn’t to be but the event went ahead as planned and our thanks go to members of Rich’s family for coming along and supporting us to hold the event so soon after losing him.

The event was an outrageous success although not without its elements of controversy: Dodgy refereeing decisions, blatant running and even accusations of cheating during the quiz. Rich would have loved it.