Here at portadownfc.co.uk we have decided to shine a much deserved light on the volunteers at the club that work so hard behind the scenes to make sure all aspects of your football club work like a well oiled machine, from ticket sellers to club shop to media team we all have a part to play and we want to hear from the many stories from all around the club so you can see what they actually get up to and how they contribute.
Next up we have Nat Richardson.
Role at club: Meet & Greet at Door Clubrooms Door, making sure relevant passes only get through door. Looking after sponsors and visiting directors with hospitality in the Clubrooms
How long have you been volunteering at PFC: First job in the club was in 1949, I used to go around at half time with a friend of mine with the winning half time draw number. I was always around club as a young boy, codging a lift with ex keeper Ted McNeill, he would have got the bus after training into Portadown to get a connection into Newry and he used to get me on to the bus to get and tell the conductor not to charge me as I couldnt afford it so I could get home. In the mid-50s I went to play football myself around the town in Mid Ulster football and the Summer League. Around 1964 I worked on the turnstyles and I haven’t been away since. Always done plenty of other jobs which ever the club needed from painting, to running errands, helping out int he clubrooms etc.
What first got you involved: My friend and myself living beside each other always had an interest in football and used to go to watch training every Tuesday and Thursday as a 10 year old and then got hooked. Wasn’t much to do in those days so football was there and gave everyone an interest, in those days there was around 4,000 people going every week.
What is your earliest memory at PFC: Earliest memory of a match was the first time playing Crusaders, late 40s, Crusaders where a new team in Irish League and I think we won 2-1. Being in a big crowd was amazing, really new at such a young age. seeing the players playing that I always watched in training was brilliant.
Whats your favourite memory at the Ports: Has to be Irish Cup final when beating Glenavon, in 1991. Crowd and colour was amazing, the build up of the day and winning it was the best feeling I’ve had watching Ports. I was working the turnstyles an helping sell programmes during the 1990 league winning match so didnt get to see as much of the game as I would have liked that day.
What is your match day routine at Shamrock Park or an away match: Arrive at ground in morning to see if there is anything needing done, helping stock up in the boardroom etc. Arrive at 1.30pm or so at ground to show visiting players where to go and greet sponsors & visiting directors to the ground. Usually leaving shamrock around 7pm (sometimes later, if the result is good) to soak up the atmosphere and help Bill Emerson with anything that needs done.
What is something about your role that you do that no-one notices: At the request of the Chairman I bring fans into the board room at half time, some of the older faces around the club so they can get some half time cups of tea or refreshments. I also do some painitng around the club to freshen things up during the summer.
What do you love about Portadown FC: Its our town and our club. To me it belongs to the community, the managers, players etc. all come and go but the fans are always there (although I’m not looking rid of the manager and players just yet!).
What is the one thing you are missing about the Ports during the lockdown: The routine, getting the company and craic of the supporters and players at matches. Seeing the familiar faces and getting a yarn is always nice.
We at portadownfc.co.uk are very proud of each one of our hard working volunteers and you can be involved too, no matter what your skill set there is always a place for you at PFC. Just get in touch using the Contact Us page if you want to get involved.