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You Have to be ‘in it to Win it’


On Monday the 15th September 1986, 1,500 supporters packed into the Astoria Ballroom while more fans were locked outside gathered to hear about the financial difficulties the club had found themselves in. The clubs future was threatened with the financial crisis, as then Chairman Jack Dunnett was the only financial support and the club desperately needed to clear debts of over £1.8 Million. It was a direct result of the fans, players and board members support that the Lifeline scheme came into existence with John Mounteney quickly reaching 2,500 members.

Lifeline could only be possible with the dedication of any steward, with the fans making sure just how important it is to have something to aid the clubs coffers especially times become hard financially.

Notts County has long been established as a family club. The presence of staff members, even to this modern day, and the board make our club feel much different to any other.

Lynn Lawson has been administrating Lifeline since 2001, which in 2003 would have played a vital part in saving our club as we once again found ourselves on the brink of administration quite similar to when the scheme was originally started.

At the fans forum on Wednesday 3rd April, the entry and all proceedings went to Lifeline. £250 was also donated to the British Heart Foundation in memory of Joy Sharpe who had sadly passed away.mrslawson_mrandmrstrew.jpgOn Friday the 12th, I met up with Jurgen who kindly offered me to attend the fans sponsor dinner. Inside the club shop 'Lifeline' was being discussed, I am not a member but I have always been interested. Lynn and Jurgen spoke about it and you could see how much it meant to Lynn and with the right person behind such worthy scheme it can only go forward. I'm going to join, I hope those who aren't members that read this consider it also.

Inside our community 'TonyHateley' started a discussion about Lifeline, he had asked if anyone was also a member. He kindly allowed time to answer some questions, along with Kirk Ward (a budding photographer).

Q; When did you join Lifeline?

Kirk: Joined about 2 years ago

TonyHateley: You are testing my memory a bit here and as I have said before it is not good. I've just had a look at my bank statements back to 2007 and I was paying it then but I can't go back any further, so I've certainly been in it since then but I was in it a lot earlier than that but was made redundant in the early 90s and stopped it for a while and then started again when I got my finances back on track so I reckon on the present numbers I have been in probably since 2000 or some thing like that, sorry I can't be more specific.

Q; Why did you join Lifeline?

Kirk: Because it gives something to the club and also gives me the chance to win prizes at the same time.

TonyHateley: The reason I joined is simple I love the club and wanted to help them out whilst at the same time hopefully win a little something myself.

Q; Could you tell me some of your highlights during the time you've been a member?

Kirk: Highlights has to be winning £100 a few weeks ago.

TonyHateley: I have had one win and that was the jackpot £1,000, I remember I was working at the Derbyshire Times Newspaper in Chesterfield at the time and my wife phoned me, I was worried that something was wrong because she didn't ring me normally, when she said the postman had just brought a cheque from Notts County for £1,000 I nearly fell through the floor, I never checked my numbers so it was a great surprise. We used the money to have a great holiday that year.

Over the years we have been to some great events organised for Lifeline members, every year they have the Lifeline Gala Night, where there is normally some entertainment and a chance to win £10,000 and a car if your numbers are drawn out. At one such event we bought some raffle tickets and were amazed when we won an Executive Box for a match of our choice for 8 people. We had a great time, I can't remember that match but as soon as people knew I had won I suddenly had lots of friends who wanted to join me. In the end members of my family and two close friends including a Chesterfield fan joined me in the box, I think we won but again memory fails me.

Continuing the good luck theme but not related to Lifeline, I always buy a 50-50 ticket at the match and have twice won, once when my son was with me at the time he was a struggling student so I shared it with him, I think it was about £400 he was well pleased but probably spent it all on drink as students do. The second time I was on my own and it was a night match so the win was a lot less about £200 I think but still a lovely surprise and I remember going to claim my prize and they gave me an envelope with cash but I had to wait a while and when I walked back to the car which was parked on Trent Embankment, the crowds had dispersed and it was dark, I was really worried about having this cash and if anyone had followed me I could be mugged. Paranoid or what.

To join lifeline please visit the official club website.

Lynn Lawson's kindly answered some questions for us, please do keep an eye out for this feature as we are very honoured to have had our questions answered. This will follow shortly but for now please do visit the official website to find more information.

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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