Barbara Godwin, a regular member of our Chippenham Memory Café and Music for the Mind group has a remarkable passion for football that not everyone knows about. With a long-standing involvement in Chippenham Town FC, she shares what sparked her love of football and some of the special memories she has made along the way.

"I'm not sure of the exact moment my love of football began but I do remember feeling drawn to it from a young age and loved watching it on TV. Whenever I had the chance I would watch games to enjoy the excitement and thrill of it all. I have always loved Tottenham Hotspur but my journey with a team closer to home has marked a special chapter in my life.

"My husband Tony and I are friends with people who work at Chippenham Town FC, Jane, and Neil Blackmore the chairman of the club. In the early 2000’s we were asked to get involved and that’s where it all began. We'd organise kits on match days, putting them out for the players, and when the games were finished we'd collect dirty kits, and take them away to wash ready for the next game. Tony and I dedicated our time to this for many years, it could be hard work but we enjoyed it. Sadly, a few years ago I broke my hip and had to make the difficult decision to stop. It was time to hang up my boots as they say.

"We’re still very much involved though, Tony is the club's groundsman and I travel to almost every away game with the team to support them. It’s a lovely social affair as I get to have a meal in the director's box and enjoy that community feeling.

"My daughter Kirsty runs the merchandise shop and I help her out on match days. Chippenham Town FC is a huge part of our lives and even more so now my granddaughters Alice and Sophie both play for the club. It’s a real family affair, we love the club and love football."

After her dementia diagnosis, Barbara connected with Chippenham dementia adviser Sharon Levine and together they crafted a personalised support plan opening doors to services we offer in the community. She now enjoys attending our Chippenham Memory Cafe and Music for the Mind group every week and with the support of her family, Chippenham Town FC, and putting her own strategies in place, Barbara is embracing life.

Looking back Barbara said: "There have been so many memorable experiences over the years but a stand-out would have to be winning the Southern League's Premier Division in 2016-17. We also reached the final of the FA Vase at Wembley in the year 2000 but unfortunately, we lost in the 87th minute to Deal. Everyone was gutted about that one but I was so proud of the team and felt very fortunate to be a part of it all. I mean, how many chances will you get to play at Wembley? It was a dream come true. 

"I'd love to stay involved with the club for as long as I can and keep doing what I am doing for as long as the passion is there. That’s my advice to anyone looking to get involved with their local football club, you need to have a passion for it and it can be hard work at times but you will make so many friends and have some amazing experiences along the way."

Neil Blackmore Chippenham Town FC Chairman said: "Barbara is an avid CTFC fan and follows the team both home and away. She is passionate in her support of the team and you can hear her oohs and aahs during matches when the players do or don't get things right on the pitch. The odd expletive has also been heard but we won't dwell on that!

"A respected member of the Club's support staff, Barbara is happy to help out in other ways, collecting match day team sheets for sale in the Club shop or helping Tony with grounds maintenance if needed.

"It's to her credit that she doesn't let her dementia get in the way of her duties. She is a valued member of the Club's match day staff and we are fortunate to have her in the side!"

Looking towards England's chances of success in the Euros this year Barbara said: "As for England... well I can only hope that football is coming home but who knows!"

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