These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CHRIS SLISKI RIP

Published in the Southern League Cerntral Division match v Leighton
Town Saturday 21st April 2012. We lost 3-0 in front of 267 people and
so will stay second and enter the play offs for the third time in a
row.  This is the speech I gave at Chris Sliskis funeral.

Nothing would change in this world if it wasn’t for the doers and
dreamers, the people who carry on with what they believe in when
others have thrown in the towel. Chris Sliski was one of those people.
For nearly fifty years Chris supported his club Slough Town and helped
shape and build it through its many ups and downs. He always seemed to
be there with his trade mark ‘boot’, wading through nettles to rescue
another mis-kicked ball.

He always had a smile on his face and through our darker periods when
you felt like giving up he would offer little nuggets of news to cheer
us up and think just maybe the good times were around the corner.
Nothing was too much trouble for him and he would make any supporter,
old timer or new on the scene, welcome. There was no cliqueness with
Chris, no ‘you scratch my back.’ He wasn’t flash, he wasn’t rich just
an honest, hard grafting, working class man who touched hundreds of
lives.

It’s the little acts of kindness I remember. Like at one big FA Cup
game finding us a table unprompted so we could sell a new issue of our
fanzine. Convincing my dad that a couple of 12 year olds would be ok
on the coach for our first ever away match and that no there shouldn’t
be any trouble in an FA Cup second qualifying round game against
Carshalton!

Offering to pay my train fare back as I waited at Clapham Station to
find out that the game was off. Putting his hands in his pocket to pay
the ref for another early morning inspection. Organising work parties
at Wexham Park, Beaconsfield and Windsor.

Being an integral part of the Under 18s set up and pivotal in the
Supporters Trust movement that grew out of the frustration that so
many of our clubs seemed to be in the hands of people who didn’t
really understand what it meant to be a supporter.

Going to Wexham Park for home games or waiting outside the George on
Farnham Road for the supporters coach. That became my religion for me
as a youngster supporting a very successful non league side.

There’s been periods in my life when I’ve given football a break. But
despite moving to Brighton over 20 years ago and having a family there
now what did I do once that football bug came back? Well I did try the
Albion and a host of non league clubs, but it just wasn’t the same as
supporting the Rebels with people who’d watch me grow as an annoying
pre-teenager into an annoying adult. And every time I got the Rebels
bug who do you think would be on the terraces to welcome me?


I think it’s very hard for people who support Premiership teams to
understand why anybody would support lower league football. But that’s
because it’s so much more than just watching a football match. Not
that silly ‘more important than life and death’ quote but somewhere
were you feel that you belong. Where my support matters, where my
voice isn’t ignored. Where they even let me write bloody articles for
the programme!

I think the measure of how well regarded and known Chris was a recent
conversation I had with the chair of Brighton and Hove Supporters
Association. They wanted to present a cheque to our charity on a
Saturday and I had to tell them that sorry Saturdays were out for me
as I supported another team. When I told her it was Slough Town, she
said that's ok because she'd known and was friends with Chris Sliski
for years through the supporters trust movement.

Chris had a fantastic positive attitude to life and that made him
someone you wanted to be around. He was a role model for supporters
everywhere. Actually he was a role model for human beings everywhere.
He didn’t even moan when Julie would often sneak off to the shops at
away games and that Ryan was more into rugby!

Julie, you don’t need me to tell you what a fantastic man you married.
Ryan, you don’t need me to tell you how proud you should be of your
dad. Just look around you. Just read the message board and twitter.

When I heard the news it was like a kick in the stomach and all I
could think of is that it's just not fair. On Chris, his family and
hundreds of friends. Watching Slough will never be the same again but
we must make sure that he is never forgotten and when we get our
ground back in Slough his name needs to be immortalized in some way.
I don't think it’s an exaggeration to say that without Chris, Slough
Town wouldn't be in such rude health. No one will ever be able to
replace him, but we can try and make sure that the club he loved
prospers for many years to come by cheering on the team, helping with
those jobs no one notices, being friendly and positive to new
supporters.

Chris Sliski, you were a Slough Town legend. You served with honour.
RIP my friend. Now let’s go and get promoted for you.

1 Comments:

Blogger Prognostika said...

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4:04 pm

 

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