In the latest of our series about the members of the Darlington FC Supporters Group, Lee Kilcran, who was elected to the DFCSG board at the last AGM, answers our Q and As.
How long have you supported Darlington?
Can you remember your first game, who was it against?
It must have been around 1998 as I was very young and Marco Gabbiadini was playing. I can’t remember who it was against, but it was a night match and I can remember the excitement of walking around the side of the cricket pitch at Feethams with my dad, floodlights shining.
Who have been your favourite players over the years?
Marco Gabbiadini, Craig Liddle, Neil Wainwright, Gary Brown.
What have been your most memorable matches?
The one that seems to stick in my mind from Feethams is the last time we played Hartlepool there, coming from behind with 10 men to draw 2-2. I’ll have been 10 at the time so it’s probably the earliest match I can properly remember.
Winning the title at Whitby will live long in the memory as well. What a performance.
What are your favourite away grounds?
We’ve been to some nice ones in non-league, but Bootham Crescent is the best for overall matchday experience. It’s up there with the Sid James’ Park as one of the best located grounds in the country. I think they’ll regret moving.
From the Football League days, which trips do you miss the most?
I used to like Rotherham away but they’re in a new ground now. It’d be nice to get Carlisle back and I’ve always fancied a trip to Bradford and Port Vale.
Do you enjoy games more or less than say ten years ago? Why?
Much more. A bit of me died in the Arena.
The connection between the club, players and supporters is much stronger these days and it feels like we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s a bit of a throwback watching lads with full-time jobs pull on the shirt and for me, there’s no contest between what we’ve got and the sterile experience you get at top-end professional football these days.
Why did you decide to join the DFCSG board?
I decided I was going to get involved at the fans’ forum last season. I wasn’t too happy with events that evening. My resolve was strengthened by the threat of Raj Singh becoming involved again. That episode really highlighted the importance of having strong leadership within the Supporters’ Group.
What are you doing voluntarily for the club at the moment?
Alongside Malcolm Cundick, I’m one of the directors charged with overseeing stadium and infrastructure development, so that takes up most of my time. I’ve also been doing a bit of work on the commercial side, was involved in getting the pitch covers moved from Bishop Auckland, and have even had a go on the turnstiles!
Where do you see the club being in ten years’ time?
Fan-owned and financially self-sufficient, playing at a ground which meets our needs and provides a good matchday experience, and hopefully in a position to think about going full-time if we haven’t already done so.