Rev's Ramblings

One of the most popular figures around Park Hall is the manager, Craig Harrison, and no-one needs to be reminded of his success over the last few seasons at TNS. I read a piece in a Teeside-based newspaper recently about him and I was fascinated how he got into management.

Hence, when I saw Craig at The Venue this week I asked him about it. It really is a rags-to-riches story, certainly from an emotional perspective. At high-flying Middlesbrough, his career was tragically ended through injury, at the tender age of 24. Football can be cruel sometimes and Craig was at the sharp end.

Yet, in an amazing twist of circumstances, his 30th birthday bash became a Damascus road experience that literally turned everything around. By coincidence, in the band was the then Airbus UK manager, Gareth Owen. The chance meeting led to an opening for Craig at the club and the rest, as they say, is history.

Listening to the story from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, really reinforced how even in the darkest situation all it takes is a split-second to turn things around. An incredible tale, I’ve condensed it into just a few paragraphs and captured the gist of it. Thanks for sharing with me, Craig.

On Wednesday we were back in Oswestry with the #TNSTownTour (we like our hashtags at The New Saints!). Niall Broe was there from last week and making their debuts were Naomi Stocker and Euan Harris. We had another great time, spreading the good news of the Welsh champions in the local community.

The Welsh Premier League trophy is a brilliant tool to engage with people. It’s so impressive and it instantly attracts the attention of passers-by, which in turn gives us the opportunity to start conversations.

With the Champions League on the immediate horizon, we’re hoping to drum up support of course. It’s also about long-term connectivity though and seeing more people at Park Hall.

We’re out again this coming Wednesday, so if you’re in the outdoor market area from 10.00 am until 1.00 pm then come and say hello. And like so many have done already, you’re more than welcome to have your photograph taken with the piece de resistance of our current silverware.

Finally, TNS Radio is back for the new season, kicking off yesterday with the charity football game at Park Hall. With two fantastic organisations – Once Upon A Smile and Hope House – benefitting from the event, it was a pleasure and privilege to be involved.

We were awash with celebrities, with the likes of Brookside, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Emmerdale all represented. And it was Danny Miller (who plays Aaron Livesy) from the latter, who came on air after the game.

Prior to his appearance we chatted with three local children – Amelia, Bailey and Leo – and I asked them each that if they could ask Danny something, what would it be. Imagine their delight when he appeared and I actually got them to pose the questions themselves! They were truly thrilled and I must say Danny was brilliant.

See you next Monday! The Rev!