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Boco and Gboly Meet the Mayor

26 October 2014

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Chesterfield duo Romy Boco and Gboly Ariyibi were invited to Chesterfield town hall for afternoon tea with the mayor and mayoress of Chesterfield.

The mayor, Alexis Diouf, originally hails from Senegal in west Africa and was keen to meet Boco and Armand Gnanduillet as the Spireites pair share a similar history and join the mayor in speaking French as their first languages.

Gnanduillet's loan move to Tranmere meant the striker was unable to attend, with Ariyibi stepping in for the mayoral visit.

The players were offered afternoon tea and biscuits and shown the many artefacts on display at the town hall, which included a cup used by the Queen, several precious gold objects and a book of distinguished guests that included several royals and last season's title-winning Spireites team. 

The mayor spoke about the circumstances that lead to the players' invitation.

He said: "It's a wonderful privilege, because people like Boco and Gnanduillet- who unfortunately couldn't be here today- we've got shared heritage because we are all from west Africa, we speaks French, we are all in a "foreign land" and hopefully I can help them, having been through it before them.

"Having lived here for 34 years, I started just like them, being somewhere else where you have to adapt.

"I had a long discussion with Boco and I think now I am more of a complete Chesterfield fan than I was when you came."

The mayor has been invited to a future Proact Stadium match and is looking forward to visiting the club, one he views to be on the up.

He said: "Really, the fact that we have one of the best football grounds in the country shows that we are ambitious- and we could only be ambitious when we feel that the people of Chesterfield are with us.

"It's part of Chesterfield as much as anything else we have here. It is important to the people, because without them there wouldn't be a football club."

Boco also spoke of his enjoyment at the meeting, and revealed what the two French-speakers had discussed.

He said: "It was good, it was really interesting because we both speak French, we had a good discussion about life in England, so it was really nice.

"We shared our experiences and he told me a lot about him and how he managed to move to England and his life, it was really good because we have similar stories."

"He moved from Africa to here and he's been welcomed and I've done the same years after him, so it's nice to share."

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