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MEDIA WEEKLY: Secrets and Goodbyes

15 December 2016

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It's my final Media Weekly column this week before I head off after the Bolton game on Saturday, so I thought I might at last let you all into a bit of a secret.

My successor has now been chosen and will be unveiled properly on Monday, so I'll not give too much away - though I'd like to wish him luck and all the best in his new role as he's welcomed to this wonderful club.

The one big secret...

I've been lucky enough to go to every match home and away since I started at the club; all except one. Colchester United away on October 21, 2014 is a date etched in the memories of three of us attempting to cover the game that day.

Matchday announcer Howard Borrell, Matt (on a work placement with us at the time) and I set off from Chesterfield in my Vauxhall Corsa and at least most of the way to Newark all was as planned.

Then, near Grantham, the dashboard lights suddenly flashed in unison and moments later my poor old Corsa was motionless in a lay-by. The steam suggested it wasn't a job for us to fix and an hour later the RAC it was too tough for them as well.

All of this happened as we counted down the minutes, whether we'd make it on time and then how late we'd get to the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

In the darkness and one flat bed ride later we were still at some mechanic workshop somewhere in Lincolnshire, with my car - which never drove again - prostrate all hope of Colchester had gone.

Though we still had a match to cover.

Phil Tooley was phoned and he kindly sent us some "we've arrived here at Colchester for tonight's match" photos for social media, while the press officer for the U's was incredibly helpful all through the night.

We pride ourselves on our matchday Twitter coverage, but I feel I can now admit that this game was live tweeted from the back of a courtesy car as Howard - who was a much-appreciated calming influence throughout the whole day - desperately tried to relay the commentary from his phone, with Matt in the back tweeting the game while asking me, driving, "I'm pretty sure Sam Clucas has scored, but I'm not 100%, should we tweet it?"

Despite being a couple of hundred miles away, we managed a match report, all the usual social media and even Paul Cook's reaction, recorded on Colchester's camera by their press officer with Phil asking the questions.

We never did get rumbled. I've never been sure if that was testament to our improvised efforts on the night or to the ramshackle quality of our regular output, hopefully the former.

A Fond Farewell

I've written a piece for the programme on Saturday, so I'll not outstay my welcome here, but I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has made the last two and a half years the most rewarding and enjoyable of my working life.

The Spireites are far more than just a football team and it's a club that I've been truly proud to represent. Whatever comes my way in the future, a part of me will remain forever Spireite.

Iain Pearce - Spireites Media Team

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