Roar of the Big Bank at Exeter City

Exeter City fans return to football for the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter City and Bradford

Exeter City fans return to football for the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter City and Bradford City at St James Park, Exeter on 7 Aug. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

And just like that, we were back. Our first game of the season, against Bradford, who have to be one of the league’s serious contenders for promotion, certainly started with a roar, the roar of the Big Bank, who were in full voice and flag waving glory – that, and our huge flags declaring our pride in our supporter ownership, were a sight to behold.  
It was a lively match, and there were some glimpses of exciting talent from our six debut players who certainly made the choice of man of the match a challenging one. But it went to our new ‘keeper Cameron Dawson, and is it any wonder after his spectacular save in the first half to deny Bradford a much sought-after goal. 
It was great to see Matt Jay picking up his award as last season’s Player of the Season at the start of the game, a well-deserved accolade, as is being awarded the captain’s armband for this season.  
MJ has been with us since he was nine years old, his dedication and commitment to the club has been second to none since then. If ever there was a legend in the making, then this has to be one of them, and I’m sure it’s a popular decision with our fans – who are guaranteed to be singing ‘he’s one of our own’. Testament to that is that he never stops running and never stops working hard on and off the pitch. 
All in all, we’ve got to be content with a point from a tough game like this. But I think we all took more away than that, we took away just what football means to our fans and what a place this Saturday ritual plays in people’s hearts.  
A family who have Exeter City in the hearts are the Lee family and we were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John Lee. Husband of Di, the couple have given so much to our club over many, many years.  
The term stalwart gets bandied around and perhaps not always accurately, but John was a true club stalwart in every sense. John and Di cofounded the East Devon Grecians in 2005 and John gave so much time to our club, volunteering at St James Park, but was probably best known for his tireless work at the Cliff Hill Training Ground, where his kindness and friendly outlook was appreciated by everyone.  
It was a real testament to him, and to Di, to hear the minute’s applause in his honour before the game on Saturday. All of our heartfelt condolences go to Di and their family. I know that their Exeter City family will be there for Di in the weeks and months to come. 
We also honoured our former manager Terry Cooper who died last week. Terry was one of our most popular and successful managers and led the side to the Fourth Division title in 1990 and we extend our condolences to his family as well. 
If you’re visiting Exeter City centre over the next few weeks, make sure you drop into our new engagement hub, which is based in Princesshay, between Next and River Island. There are balloons for the kids, free programmes and you can even have a quick game on the Playstation!  
You might even get to meet a player or two; I heard our new signing Jevani Brown popped in last week to sign some autographs. Have a visit, or even volunteer, we’re still looking for some volunteers to staff it and help us to spread the word about our great club! 
As ever, we’re optimistic about the season ahead, we’ve got some great new signings and an exciting team of young players coming through. There are a couple of big matches coming up, so grab your tickets and see you at the park.
Up the City! 

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