The matchball for Saturday’s National League game against Eastleigh has been sponsored by the Aldershot Town Board of Directors in memory of former Chairman John McGinty, who passed away six years ago this week.
A supporter of football in Aldershot for over 40 years, John lost his battle with cancer, at the age of 72, on 22 August 2009, and everybody at the Club continues to miss his good humour, warm smile and passionate support.
Born in Ireland, he made his family home in Alton and became heavily involved in efforts to save Aldershot FC in the early 1990s. In recognition of this significant contribution, John was then made a Life Member of Aldershot Town FC and, in June 1992, also became a Director of the Club.
With responsibilities including the Social Club and Wally’s Bar, as well as hosting visiting Directors on matchday, John immediately became a popular and larger-than-life figure around the ground, and made many friends within football.
John was appointed as the Club’s third Chairman on 6 November 2006, in succession to Karl Prentice, and continued to forge close community links. In particular, the relationship between Aldershot Town and the British Army grew stronger, as the Club hosted a homecoming ceremony for soldiers returning from Afghanistan in October 2007.
His tenure saw the Club return to the Football League in 2008, as Gary Waddock – with whom John enjoyed a great friendship and a bond which stretched beyond merely Chairman and Manager – led The Shots to the Blue Square Premier championship. That summer, he was also named Chairman of the Year by the Non-League Paper.
Despite his illness, John was always totally devoted to the Club and its well-being. As Director Brian Bloomfield remembers: “During a very successful period for Aldershot Town, John was undoubtedly the heartbeat of the Club, whose infectious smile and wit endeared him to anyone who crossed his path.”
John’s son, Michael, will also attend the game as a guest of the Club.