The following email letter was sent to OxVox members late yesterday, 17 December 2019.
A final update on the Mural project before tomorrow’s game with City and the big game against Wycombe. A lot of people have been working amazingly hard on this project throughout but with the tragic passing of club legend Jim Smith we have been redoubling our efforts to make sure everything was ready in time. As you may have heard or even seen we have been at the stadium since the middle of last week and this morning we finished securing the final piece in place.
This has been a huge project for us in terms of pulling supporters together to get it over the line and I urge everyone to spend a few minutes looking through the list of people who have helped us along the way. They deserve our thanks and support. All to a man (and woman) have given their help and asked for nothing in return so in no particular order;
Alan Selwood from A Selwood and Sons Removals who not only once but twice stepped in and carefully delivered the mural in sections from Bicester.
Gary Baker from HMG Law Bicester who dealt with all the legal documents and requests from Firoka, quickly and amazingly efficiently.
Firoka and in particular Feroza Kassam and Michael Doyle for allowing us to move ahead with the project and for putting up with a tidal wave of emails from me.
B2B Graphics for trimming their prices as well as they did the pictures for the mural.
Mike Reading at Hello Design.
James Dunn Roofing for stepping in with supplies at the last minute and helping us out.
Mike Henley, who helped us drag boards up five flights of stairs and who helped us out when it really mattered. Thank you mate!
Cybele Homes for equipment and manpower to finish the job.
Norman Millar from Forge Engineering Design Solutions Ltd who at their own expense supplied reports back to Firoka to verify our work.
The Club for all their support and for stepping in to make sure all the insurance was in place and ready to go. In particular Andy Taylor and Mick Brown and Zaki and Tiger for the open offer of help.
A huge thanks goes to James and all at Polythene UK for their fabulous generosity and large donation that got us over the line.
The mural would not be up today without these people and one person in particular. Paul Prior from Acute Homes. On the back of one phone call Paul, a lifelong fan, offered his company’s services and supplied the materials to get the job done. His team were on site for days fitting the mural and I got to see first-hand the care they put in to what they do. Thank you Paul, you are a star!
On a personal note I’d like to thank Trevor and all of the committee who worked on this project but in particular Simon Hathaway and Ali Wolfe. Both have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort into this project and it is rightly their baby. Gentlemen it has been an absolute privilege working with you on this.
I was thinking about Jim Smith after I heard the sad news and hoping he knew what he meant to us as supporters. It got me thinking about people who really embodied the club and it made me realise what a big part Rosie has played in my time supporting the club and helping out with OxVox. He will always be a Chelsea reject, but he’s our Chelsea reject. Generous with his time and efforts and always putting people and the club he loves first. He once again stepped up and helped whenever needed with this project. Top man Rosie.
The final and biggest thanks of all go to you the supporters who have made this happen. Your generosity and patience speaks volumes about our fan base. We can’t thank you enough.
The unveiling will be fairly low key but an important point to thank everyone involved. Beano (as always) has graciously agreed to join us and Rosie will be on hand before the crowds arrive on Wednesday night for the City game.
Thank you again every one of you and keep an eye out for the spots where the old 12th Man boards have been on the East and North Stands. We hope to have a little nod to the Bald Eagle on there for Wednesday night thanks to Paul and the Smart Signs guys.
As always, and especially for Jim, COYY!
[As a postscript to this email, Ali, Simon and Trevor would like, with the rest of the committee, to thank Paul himself for his time at the stadium for several days overseeing the installation]