Club Chaplain Mike Pusey spoke to the Aldershot Town FC first-team players this morning, following the passings of former player and Caretaker Manager Chris Barker and life-long fans Ron Boyd and Tony Brooker.
Mike gave a touching speech prior to the start of the first-team’s meeting where he spoke about the importance of mental health, reminiscing on last year’s Christmas Carol Service and the impact of all three members above had on Aldershot Town.
Following his speech, Mike gave his thoughts about the last few weeks along with his speech to the players too:
“We’ve been very saddened at Aldershot recently to hear the news of Chris Barker. We really loved that man. He was such a gentleman, he was so loyal. I can say so many things about him but out of it, I felt that it’s the time to speak to our present team and to underline the need that we all have if we face problems and difficulties in our lives which we all do, Pusey said.
“None of us are immune if we do face the things that we really can’t handle then we need to look out for someone who we can share with in confidence. I really felt that I needed to make it clear again to our players that there is a Chaplain. We are not the only ones that can help in these circumstances but we do have a Chaplain. We have three Chaplain’s and we are available as a safety net, a listening ear and if we have an answer to a problem maybe we know someone who is more likely to have it and we can give some direction.
“So I felt now was the time to say these things, they are serious, they are emotional but if we don’t stand up and speak up in times like this we will never want such a thing to happen again. It’s been a tough time for many of us in the club, in respect of Chris Barker and we’re gonna remember him tomorrow at our game before the match we’re going to have a minutes remembrance and we’re going to have an applause at 39, the age at which he died. So, this Chaplainsee to me, these fellas on our team, in our squad, they are my church and I sense a great responsibility to be everything that I can be to them.”
Before the game, a minute’s silence will be held to remember Chris and the two life-long supporters of Aldershot Town.
The circumstances of all three passings were tragic and shocking to all those that knew Chris, Ron and Tony. The players will wear black armbands tomorrow to pay respects to the families, friends and colleagues who were affected.
The club would also like to invite fans to take part in a period of applause in the 39th minute to remember Chris. It will be a touching moment to a truly great man who served our club very well and he will forever be loved by everyone involved at Aldershot Town.
Life-long supporters Tony Brooker and Ron Boyd will also be remembered in the matchday programme after their passing during the same week. Along with special matchday programmes that will feature all three.