The Dale Trust are looking at launching a Former Players’ Association during the forthcoming season.
The criteria of membership would be simple. If you’ve played a first team game for the club, then you can qualify. At this moment in time, the Trust are approaching players who have retired from the game rather than simply have moved on to other clubs.
Their work is still very much at the planning and recruitment stage but as things currently stand, the Trust see the scheme running as follows:
• Free membership offered to all former players
• Newsletter emailed to all members twice a year
• Annual Former Players Meal with a focus on a particular era. EG the 2014-15 meal could perhaps reunite the 1989-90 side which made it to the 5th Round of the FA Cup for their 25th anniversary.
• 5-a-side game as a curtain raiser to a Dale home game (pitch dependent)
• Charity game v Celebrities XI where the former players would play one half and the Supporters’ team would play the other.
• Golf Day is there is demand.
Feedback from former players has been extremely positive so far with the likes of Alan Reeves, Jimmy Graham, Lyndon Simmonds, Dave Bayliss, etc all having signed up for what we hope will be a long term project for the Trust that will prove beneficial to both former players and supporters over the coming years.