Ahead of our final game of the season with Crewe, we have this message to all supporters from 1st team Fitness Coach, Ian Hutton...
When Vicky was diagnosed with cancer back in August 2017, just as the new football season was beginning, I honestly wasn’t sure whether I could continue on in my role at Cheltenham Town Football Club.
Working in a 1st team environment in professional football, really is a dream come true and a huge honour, but at times it can be brutal, both physically and mentally, and trust me, nobody ever got into coaching for the money.
Our world as we knew it and all of our plans were rocked by a devastating and cruel stroke of bad luck, and the bleak uncertainty of our immediate future made it impossible to concentrate on anything other than trying to pull ourselves together, which at times proved challenging.
As hard as misfortune struck, we were given the unexpected news after Vicky’s first round of chemo, that her cancer had a rare mutation and could be treated with targeted therapy.
The rollercoaster was in full flow by now, but as the EFL Cup second round tie with West Ham United approached, I was greeted by the the kit man, James Murphy, and a CTFC shirt with the words ‘Vicky Veness We Are With You CTFC X X’ printed on the back. At a time when things felt so desperate, this gesture will stay with me forever. This shirt was then shown on the scoreboard at the game, with all of the players wearing t-shirts during the warm up showing the clubs support for us.
That was probably the most emotional day of my six-year association with the club. The support shown to us from the current, and many former CTFC players and staff was overwhelming, but it didn’t stop there...
During his role as Fan Elected Director, Murry Toms, together with fellow members of the board, Robins Trust and the British Lung Foundation, came up with the ‘Blue Day’ theme, which saw a switch from our red and white home colours, to a blue kit for the game against Crewe Alexandra at the LCI Rail Stadium.
It was hard at times to hold back the tears during such an emotional day, and there was a lump in my throat so big I felt like I’d swallowed a tennis ball, but after a lot of deep, gasping breaths, a special volley from Jamie Grimes ensured a 1-0 win and a day that I will never ever forget and be eternally grateful for.
This is where it gets extra special for me... To all you CTFC supporters who have given us your support and words of encouragement during this difficult time, who follow Vicky’s blog and leave the most amazingly supportive and kind comments, it really makes all the difference not only to us, but to our families also, who have been incredible... so thank you, it really means the world to us!
The season may not have ended in the way we all would have hoped, but the final game against Crewe will be another proud reminder for me of that special day in December and that special memory that our club has given to me.
Thank you 🔴⚪ 🎈 #CTFC #BLF
Ian Hutton - 1st Team Fitness Coach
To follow Vicky's blog click HERE