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Alan Banks

Exeter City’s incredible history brought to life in new stand

Exeter City’s incredible history has been brought to life in the club’s new Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand thanks to the efforts of academics, volunteers, fans and former players.

The new building, named after the late player Adam Stansfield, incorporates heritage within its facilities and pays a moving tribute to the achievements of the city’s most famous footballers.

Fans arriving to see matches are now able to see a historic timeline with key dates in the club’s history on the walls of the stand, alongside amazing pictures from the Grecian Archive.

The Grecian Archive is a community project to record the unique history of one of England’s most fascinating football clubs, led by Gabriella Giannachi, Professor in Performance and New Media and Will Barrett from the department of English at the University of Exeter, in collaboration with the Exeter City Football Club (ECFC) Supporters Trust.

The latest displays have been created as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded ECFC Museum project, which aims to create a stadium wide approach to the sharing of the club’s history and heritage.  

Mr Barrett said: “It’s great to see the club’s heritage now visible all around St James Park, and we hope incorporating history into a new era will inspire players, staff and fans alike to remember and share their achievements.

“The display’s explore some of the key events in the history of the football club, as well as showing how the club and the ground has developed over the years. It has also been great that we have been able to acknowledge some of the people that have played a massive part in the history of the club, and the response to this has been fantastic”

Players featured in the building’s Hall of Fame include Sid Thomas, a player, manager, founder, secretary, director and chairman of the club. Also included are Adam Stansfield, Graham Rees, Dick Pym, Arnold Mitchell, Tony Kellow, Peter Hatch, Jimmy Giles, Dermot Curtis, Reg Clarke, Cliff Bastin and Alan Banks.

People going to games can also find out more about Exeter City’s famous trip to Brazil in 1914, when they were the first team to play against the future five-times World Cup winners.

Exeter City’s history is also featured on the outside of the club’s buildings, as people walk from the turnstiles to the Thatchers Big Bank stand.

There are pictures of the club’s most popular strikers - Alan Banks, Alan Beer, Fred Binney, Steve Flack, Tony Kellow, Darren Rowbotham, Richard Logan, Adam Stansfield, Ollie Watkins and Jayden Stockley. Future players can take their picture next to a board inscribed with the slogan “future city legend”.

The Grecian Archive team, which each year includes several students from the university, works with ECFC staff, supporters, fans, current and former players, and volunteers to develop a rich archive of memories and artefacts which showcases City’s fascinating history, and illustrates the role it has played in the community for over a century.

This Heritage Lottery-funded work has taken the project beyond the online Grecian Archive, which involves the community in collecting, preserving and sharing the history and heritage of ECFC, and work is now on-going to develop a museum display and research room at St James Park, which will be officially launched in 2019.

Date: 29 November 2018

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