Stan McGowan set for a royal day out
Devout Bury fan Stan McGowan, the Football League’s supporter of the year for 2007, is set for a grand day out next month with a visit to Buckingham Palace.
Stan is more commonly known amongst the Shakers supporters as the driver for the disabled supporter’s club. No matter the weather or distance , Stan can be found at the wheel of the disabled mini bus heading up and down various motorways the length and breadth of the country.
The FA, on hearing about Stan, have invited him to Buckingham Palace next month where he will be amongst the supporters for a very rare occasion – a football game played in the gardens at the home of the British Monarchy.
The game will take place between Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC to mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.
As president of the FA, Prince William has been one of the driving forces behind the idea, but he needed his grandmother's permission first.
The Duke of Cambridge will host the event, which will see him present medals to 150 grassroots volunteers in recognition of the time they have given to the game, with Stan being one of the 150.
The Duke said: "In our 150th year, it is hugely important for the FA to honour the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who, week in, week out, help to provide the opportunity for millions more people to enjoy football at grassroots level."
The Palace lawn has already been seeded in parts to repair wear and tear following a busy summer of activities including the Coronation Festival.
Stan McGowan, commenting on the special day out said: ‘It is a massive honour for me to represent the Bury FC Disabled Supporters Club and the club as a whole at Buckingham Palace. If it was not for our helpers and Sponsors on the side of the bus, we would not be able to support the club. It’s not just me, I just drive the bus.’
Meanwhile Bury chairman Stewart Day, on hearing the news said: ‘Since arriving at the club I have been enormously impressed with our travelling supporters, they have shown their true colours up and down the country. Amongst them has been our disabled supporters who, with many others, rarely miss a game no matter the distance. Stan McGowen gives those disabled supporters the chance to support their club, and as a club we are enormously proud of the efforts that he has put in over a long period of years. We all hope that Stan and his wife Zandra, have an exceptional time in London and it’s great to see him being rewarded for his tireless efforts.’