Valley Gold Promoter Paul Nottage caught up with our latest Crossbar challenge winner, Steve Belfield and asked him about his two days with Valley Gold.
Steve has been a member of Valley Gold for at least a decade and sits in the East Stand with his son William.
I first met Steve on the Friday before the Southend game at Sparrows Lane. The weather was awful and it seemed the U18s had been let off early because of this.
However, three of the U18s team ventured out onto the 4G pitches to give Steve some tips and advice. Asking him whether this was useful he said ‘It was good fun and the U18s were great, very helpful and enthusiastic. I managed to pick up a few tips in terms of striking the ball, what to aim at and focus on. All of these tips certainly helped on the day. I said I would buy them a drink if I won – something I would like to honour.’
As well as the advice from the U18s team, Steve was given a tour of the facilities at Sparrows Lane. Asking him what he thought of them he said, ‘I thought the training ground facilities were fantastic and the new 4G pitches we practised on were superb. I couldn’t believe the extent of the grounds and pitches and its great with the financial uncertainty that exists the club has managed to retain ownership of the facility. I look forward to seeing it completed.’
After having a sleepless night because he didn’t want to make a complete ‘Pigs Ear’ of his attempt he walked out onto the Valley pitch. All he wanted was to give it his best effort and hope for the best.
I asked him what he felt after hitting the crossbar. Steve said ‘Unbelievable! It was like an out of body experience and it wasn’t really happening to me. However, It knew I’d hit the crossbar when all of the Charlton substitutes led by Darren Pratley ran up and started jumping on me as if I had scored a goal for Charlton. It became more emotional when my two daughters came running onto the pitch followed by my son William in his wheelchair and my wife’.
Steve continued, ‘I’d just like to summarise by saying the whole thing was a wonderful if not nerve-racking experience that I would recommend to everyone who has the chance by buying Jackpot Tickets or being a Valley Gold member. It was great to walk out onto the pitch and see the stadium from a player’s perspective. I would also like to dedicate this to my father, Ron Belfield, who was a lifelong Addicks supporter who sadly passed away a year or so ago’.
Finally, I would like to thank Valley Gold, Sharron Sherress and you Paul for making this such a memorable experience for me’.
My final question was what did he intend to do with the winnings. With a smile, he said ‘Providing there is some left after Jackie my wife has chosen her next Mulberry bag, I will arrange a family holiday’.
Photo: Paul Edwards