On Saturday, when Dale hosted Fleetwood Town at the Crown Oil Arena, the Directors were delighted to welcome three special guests into the Board Room.
Supporters Christine Fairhurst, Mavis Shellard and Michael Whittles were treated to VIP hospitality, in the company of Directors from both Rochdale and the Cod Army.
It had been brought to the Club’s attention that for the last 52 years, Mavis and Michael have followed Dale both home and away, missing just one game between them during that time. We reckon that means they’ve taken in around 2,600 matches each!
Mavis’ love affair with the Club actually started many years before that, though, in the 1930’s, after being introduced by her Father.
“My Dad, who was a local police officer introduced me to it, bringing me to Spotland when I was just three or four years old. My Mum worked and my Dad used to work the games, so I’d stand at the front while he walked up and down,” said the 85-year-old.
“The only game I’ve missed since 1967 was a game away at Torquay in the same decade.
“Why do I do it? I was born in Rochdale, I live in Rochdale, it’s my club and I support them. I love Rochdale Football Club!”
Christine, despite living in Wales, started supporting back in 1980s and has been hooked ever since.
The 74-year-old, who travels for nearly two hours just to get to home games, has struck up a great friendship with Mavis over the years, and they’ve sat together in the same seats in the Main Stand since it was built.
“My next door neighbours were supporters and it was through them that I started supporting Rochdale, too,” said Christine.
“My first-ever Dale game was when we played Marine in the FA Cup at Liverpool’s ground. My neighbours were going to the match and they knew I had always wanted to go there, so they invited me along with them. I went to the game and I have been coming ever since!”
Here’s to many more matches, Christine, Mavis and Michael. Thanks for your support throughout the years!