Thursday, May 8, 2014
Exeter City signed off the 2013/14 season in samba style at the ‘Road to Rio’ Gala Ball held at the club’s home, writes Richard Dorman.
The event also incorporated the End of Season Awards, where achievements were recognised from both on and off the pitch. The annual celebration was given a Brazilian theme this year, ahead of the Grecians’
forthcoming return to Rio de Janeiro in the summer, where the centenary of Exeter City’s South American tour of 1914 will be commemorated. Pre-meal entertainment was provided by local samba band Street Heat,
and the cast of ‘The Day we Played Brazil’ – a community play which will be staged at the Exeter Northcott Theatre this summer – gave preview renditions of two of their songs. Local 13-piece multi-genre band The Loose Cannons rounded off the night in front of a packed dancefloor. Almost 300 supporters and sponsors were in attendance, including main event sponsors IP Office Ltd. Ella’s Events provided the décor, Stage Engage delivered the stage and lighting and on-the-night production, and St Austell Brewery and Sheppard Rockey and Williams were associate sponsors for the night. Money was also raised on the night through a silent auction and a bucket collection, part of which will go towards the club’s youth academy and Football in the Community charity. The auction items were provided by Gary Moore Memorabilia. The usual ‘Irish Bingo’ and ‘Red Card Yellow Card’ games both had a Brazilian twist – and as well as being named the Supporters’ Trust’s Young Player of the Year, under-18 player Alex Byrne also won the cash prize from the bingo!
Midfielder Liam Sercombe was the big winner on the night, claiming no less than four awards for an impressive season. Matt Grimes, Exeter’s 18-year-old first-year professional, claimed the Player of the Year
award while Arron Davies’ goal against Scunthorpe United was named Goal of the Year.
Volunteers David and Jeanne Jones, Frank Sealey and Jenny Lees were all also awarded prizes for the contributions they make for the club all year round. City chief executive Guy Wolfenden said: “We were delighted to see such a great turnout from the Exeter community in support of the event, and we have to pass thanks to IP Office Ltd in particular for helping us to host the night as our main sponsors. When we reflected on the past season, we had plenty of cause for celebration at the Ball with so many things moving in the right direction. So congratulations go to all of our award-winners and all of the unsung heroes at our club. Thanks must also go to senior commercial manager
Mark Jenkins and conference and events manager Donna Greening for their efforts in the setting up and hosting of the event, as well as Emma and Alex Philips from Western Event Hire for providing the marquee.
Award winners: East Devon Grecians Player of the Year - Artur Krysiak; Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association - Tom Nichols; Norwegian Grecians Dom Sanders Memorial Trophy - Liam Sercombe; Exeter City Supporters’ Trust Young Player of the Year - Alex Byrne; North Devon Grecians Player of the Year - Liam Sercombe; Exeter City Supporters’ Trust Trust Member of the Year - David and Jeanne Jones; ExEC- 100 Club Alan Ball Memorial Trophy (unsung heroes) - Jenny Lees and Frank Sealey; ExEC-100 Club Player of the Year - Liam Sercombe; Exeter City Goal of the Year - Arron Davies v Scunthorpe United (19th October 2013); Exeter City Golden Boot - Tom Nichols and Scot Bennett; Exeter City Supporters’ Trust Player of the Year - Artur Krysiak; Exeter City Players’ Player of the Year - Liam Sercombe; Exeter City Supporters’ Player of the Year - Matt Grimes.