Not one, but two visits of Manchester United, promotion to and relegation from the Football League and very nearly two club liquidations – it’s fair to say that Frank Burt has pretty much seen it all at Aldershot Town Football Club over the years.
It’s a love affair which stretches back from the inaugural year of Aldershot FC, in 1926, and has blossomed ever since with Frank, to this day, attending every home match, watching from his seat in the Directors Box – 88 years on!
And this Saturday, the club will honour its best known and most ardent follower with a special ceremony as Frank celebrates his 100th birthday with the visit of Kidderminster Harriers.
Frank will be joined at the ESS Stadium by 20 members of his family plus a whole host of specially-invited guests and dignitaries.
These include the Mayor of Rushmoor, Councillor Terry Bridgeman and the Lady Mayor, Colonel Charlie Lambert, Commander of Aldershot Garrison; Andrew Lloyd, chief executive of Rushmoor Borough Council; Barry Bright, Football Association national game director; Lawrie McMenemy, former Southampton manager; Brian Lee, chairman of the Football Conference and top representatives of Chelsea FC.
Also going along will be some of Frank’s former favourite players from the past, including Aldershot FC greats Joe Jopling, Paul Shrubb and Murray Brodie as well as Nikki Bull and Ben Herd from the modern era, while Kidderminster have also asked if they can make a special presentation.
And to top it off, Frank has also received letters of congratulation this week from HRH The Queen, the Duke of Cambridge Prince William, Prime Minister David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg and Football Association chairman, Greg Dyke.
Aldershot Town chairman Shahid Azeem said: “Frank is a wonderful character and I am delighted to be able to help him celebrate this momentous occasion.
“This club strives to be at the heart of its community, and our supporters are what have made it so special for 88 years.
“Not many clubs can claim to have a supporter who has seen a match from every season in its history, but Frank remains a huge part of Aldershot Town.
“Every player, supporter and director knows him, and he speaks to manager Andy Scott at each game.
“We wish Frank a very happy birthday and hope that he and his family have a great day. And, of course, we hope that he gets to cheer a home win!”