A Simonstone resident and Padiham FC superfan, who has dedicated more than 50 years to the club, could be crowned the league’s top supporter. Bob Bailey (77) is in the running to win the Fan of the Year in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
The Storks stalwart attends every home match and has been a groundsman at the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground for around 22 years. Bob was even present as a boy at the first ever match against Chorley Reserves when the ground first opened in 1949 after the war. Padiham FC nominated him as the number one fan for the competition to find the top grass roots hero from the Evo-Stik league. He has been shortlisted along with 10 other superfans and will now face a nervous wait to see if he has reached the final in Barnsley where the winner will be announced. Bob, who lives in Primrose Bank, Simonstone and previously played for Padiham Cricket Club, was thrilled to be named among the league’s top fans.
He said: “It is nice to be nominated for something like this. It was a big surprise.
“I started doing the ground around 22 years ago but I was watching them before that. I just really like doing it.
“I am Padiham through and through. I have got some great memories of being at the club. I have seen it change over the years – they are in the big time now.
“It is a tough league, but it is great to see Padiham up there. I just hope they can stay there.”