Port Vale manager John Askey says he is proud to be part of a club that is stepping up for the community during the coronavirus crisis.
Vale Park has become a community hub, delivering hundreds of meals and working closely with the city council and charities to help vulnerable members of society.
The management and players are also ringing fans on the club’s database to check if they need anything or just to chat about football.
Askey knows that community well having grown up in Milton and worked as an insurance agent and in a potbank in the city while making his way as a young footballer.
He says he and the players are happy to help. He explained: “I think it helps us as well, it’s good you can make contact with supporters.
“It’s been surprising that, even if I didn’t know the people I rang, they knew people I knew and I knew people they knew. So, for example, I found out that a mate I went to school with is now living in Mexico.
“It’s been good talking to people. I rang a Mr Sadler who lives in Northampton who is 81 and still drives up to the home games. I used to call on his mum for insurance in Bucknall, a lovely lady.
“Things like that have been good and the players are ringing fans too. We are getting a great response from supporters, it’s all been positive.
“We are just getting the message over that we are grateful to anybody who comes through the turnstiles at Port Vale. That is how it is now, we are all in it together and that has been the case from Day One at the start of the season.
“There has been a real good feeling about the football club. What is going on is shame but you just have to try to make the best of it.
“The players have been doing the skills challenges so it’s kept them occupied and been good to watch them doing them.”
Port Vale’s community hub has been formed by pooling the resources of Port Vale and the club’s community scheme, the Foundation Trust. Also involved are the Vale owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan’s Synectics Solutions and Summit Hospitality businesses, as well as the Hubb Foundation charity of which Carol is founder and a trustee.
Askey added: “It makes you proud. That is what has come from the owners. They run a club how you would want to run a club yourself. It is great to be part of that and it is at times like this where it shows how genuine they are.
“Carol and Kevin try to look after everybody. They do some great work. The football club is a big part of the community and it is nice to be involved.”