John Mann

John Mann MP (w110610-3c)
John Mann MP (w110610-3c)

Events are running away with themselves. Suddenly, with no prior warning, Worksop Town Football Club moves from nearly promoted heroes to announcing that the Club is to close. Almost literally overnight. Nobody spoke to the fans, the manager, the players, or to me.

What can be done? Quite a lot. I cannot breach confidences of meetings I had within hours of learning of this disaster, but suffice to say that there are good survival options. They require three things: some leadership, some hard decision making and for the town of Worksop to want a football club.

I believe that the club has an excellent manager. It has a fan base. Over 500 children take pride in wearing their town’s shirt. This shows the way forward. The reality is that if this town wants its football club then it will be saved. I will assist in every way possible to ensure that our club survives.

I am currently in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, where we are almost a week into the British Legion expedition. Now that we are here the extent of the challenge has become clear – scaling the world’s highest active volcano will not be easy, particularly with daily temperatures at -10°C. We are aiming to raise £10,000 for the Battle Back scheme, which rehabilitates injured soldiers Any readers that want to support our cause can do so by texting the code TRBL93 and an amount (either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to phone number 70070.

Mr Frank Canning, of Worksop’s Canning Conveyors, very kindly sent me a copy of his book ‘Opportunity’ and I would heartily recommend it. It is not only an interesting account of Frank’s own life and his time as a miner, but charts how he set up his businesses with hard graft and not a little ingenuity. Local former miners will certainly smile at his memories of mining slang, but his account of how deeply previous recessions affect business and people will also strike many today as familiar.

Last week I mentioned the stalwart councillors who have retired, including Brian Hopkinson from this town. I don’t think there is anyone who Brian didn’t manage to fall out with at some time, including me. If he was the only person in the room then Brian could still manage an argument with himself. But Brian Hopkinson achieved a tremendous amount first as a railway union negotiator and then representing the people of Manton. Without him the new facilities at Manton Club would not exist and he led the way in making sure that the council repaired the homes of the people he represented.