Don Amott urges football fans to support high-flying Mickleover after kitting out players in charity boost
Derby caravan king Don Amott has urged local football fans to support high-flying Mickleover FC play “proper football” - after kitting out players to boost a much-loved charity of which he is patron.
The home kit worn by first team players at the club feature the distinctive logo of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre (DCHC) – a 132-year-old charity of which Don is patron, along with former Derbyshire Lord Lieutenant Willie Tucker and Sir Henry Every.
Don had the first team’s home shirts printed with the DCHC logo to raise awareness of the charity’s work giving seaside breaks to local children who might not otherwise get a holiday.
Now he would love to see many more football fans coming down to watch the club whose first team are currently riding high with an unbeaten run of seven wins so far this season.
Don, who is also chairman of Mickleover Football Club, said he could not be prouder of the players who are “punching above their weight” at the top of the Southern Premier Central League, as well as having reached the second qualifying round of the FA Cup by early September.
With a line-up including forward Marcus Barnes - brother of international and former Rams player Giles Barnes – Finn Delap, son of former Derby County midfielder Rory – and Ryan Wilson, whose father Kevin was also a Rams striker in the 1980s – Don said coming down to watch Mickleover games was a chance for all the family to watch a high quality game at a much lower cost than turning out to one of the big name clubs.
He said: “The quality of football is very good. They have given Burton Albion a run for their money! This is proper football - like football used to be. It’s not expensive to come in - £13 for an adult and £9 for a concession, and free for under 10s. People can mix with the players, you can have a pint with them afterwards. The kids can have an ice cream. In a premier league game you’re so far away now. People like that sense of belonging. The players have got other jobs so it’s hard work for them.
“As a patron of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, I thought it would be a nice thing to do to get people more aware of what the charity does.”
The president of Mickleover FC is currently Steve Perryman MBE, of former Tottenham Hotspur fame, and the first team was also named the Southern League’s Team of the Month in September. One of its hard-working players is Stuart Beavon, a 39-year-old forward who came to the club from Burton Albion – having played football professionally since the age of 21 when he started out at Reading.
Stuart comes from a line of footballers with dad Stuart having played for Tottenham Hotspur and grandfather Cyril for Oxford United.
“It’s brilliant – it’s a really good family club,” said Stuart, who works as a painter and decorator as well as playing for Mickleover. “It has been one of the best clubs I’ve played for in terms of feeling comfortable and valued.
“We’ve had a great start to the season. I play Saturdays and train on Tuesday and Thursday nights. We’re trusted as players to look after ourselves. I’ve been playing so long that I’ve been eating the right things and looking after myself.
“At Mickleover all the lads are always in the bar after the game, we’re always chatting to the fans. We like to make our fans feel part of things – without them you wouldn’t have the club. The more fans you get in, the better the club is as well.”
Alan Grimadell, chairman of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre who has sponsored some of the Mickleover FC players too, said: “I think it’s a brilliant gesture by Don Amott – one of our highly valued patrons – to have had these home shirts printed with our charity logo on them. It’s a great way of spreading the good word about our charity which puts smiles on the faces of hundreds of children every year, who we are able to provide with a holiday by the sea. Children are nominated to come to our Skegness centre if they might not otherwise get a break, due to financial hardship or another reason. By including our logo on these football shirts, Don is doing a great job in spreading the good word.”