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CORNISH FOOTBALL LOTTERY


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There cannot be one single football club within Cornwall who are awash with funds and could not do with some assistance in raising some extra pounds in their budget.

I am old enough to remember what a fantastic job Bill Pearce, a very proud Cornishman, did in 1977 at Plymouth Argyle. Bill, who was Argyles Commercial Manager at the time.

Well worth reading reading the following article found on the THISISDEVON Web Site 18/12/2010

Argyle were lucky winners of Pearce's lottery scheme

Saturday December 18th 2010.

MONEY, or the lack of it, has been high on Plymouth Argyle's agenda in recent weeks.

Maybe not as serious as the present scenario, but the recession of just over three decades ago affected football clubs as it did all other businesses.

It was an interesting time at Home Park. Club officials were looking forward to staging a European Cup Winners' Cup tie between Manchester United and St Etienne. After crowd trouble in the first leg in France, UEFA ordered the home leg to be played not less than 125 miles from Old Trafford.

Aberdeen was the first choice, but the date clashed with a Scottish League Cup quarter-final, so Argyle officials welcomed the approach from United to play host to the first competitive European game in the city.

For Argyle, there was a new signing in the ranks as midfielder Brian Bason had joined the club on loan from Chelsea.

Also, manager Mike Kelly was in talks with Plymothian Fred Binney, who had just returned to England after a spell playing in the North American Soccer League.

But there was bad news for John Peddelty. The defender, along with striker Terry Austin, had joined the Pilgrims as part of a cash-plus-player exchange deal when Paul Mariner was signed by Ipswich Town manager Bobby Robson.

At the age of 22, Peddelty was forced to retire from the game. Three years earlier, he had suffered a fractured skull. But when, for the second time during his stint with Argyle, he was concussed he was sent by the club doctor to see a neurologist, who strongly advised that there was a serious health risk if he continued playing.

On the pitch, a poor run of results was ended with a single goal victory at Bradford City's Valley Parade thanks to Brian Hall's goal.

Off the field, plans came to fruition for a money-spinning venture that would see a regular weekly boost to the club's finances – an Argyle Lottery.

No doubt, Argyle had seen the success of the lottery introduced by the City Council.

Many towns and cities across the country had seen the immediate benefits available of staging lotteries, and Plymouth was ahead of all others in terms of the cash being raised.

With plans for the profits to be ploughed into the construction on seven new community centres and to boost conservation projects, the annual profits were in the region of £175,000.

Plans were introduced for the football club to stage its' own lottery, and the first was held on September 28, 1977.

With 100,000 tickets on sale every week, the lottery began with 92 sell-outs, but it quickly became evident that the initiative of commercial manager Bill Pearce would be a brand leader, not just in football, but for sports clubs in general.

It was seen as such a ground-breaking venture that the Argyle Lottery featured on the ITV News At Ten, which brought additional attention to the club.

Visits were made from the commercial departments of Celtic, Everton, Leicester City, Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Wolves – all keen to see for themselves how the venture was working.

It functioned with the assistance of willing agents from all over the south west. They would sign up customers and visit them every week, delivering the lottery tickets to their doors.

There were more than 700 agents based from the far west of Cornwall through to Taunton.

To give a sense of community involvement, the weekly lottery draw – held every Wednesday – would be held in various locations from minor league football clubs to village halls and from corner shops to social clubs.

It also served as a way of taking the football club to the people as most weeks the lottery roadshow, complete with its random number selector, would be accompanied by an Argyle player or member of the coaching staff to push the button and set the numbers on their way.

The Argyle Lottery was a huge lifeline, with the club in severe need of a regular cash injection at the time it began. That was underlined with the £75,000 signing of striker David Kemp, made possible only because of the lottery.

However, many of the football clubs that followed Argyle's lead were unable to sustain a prolonged period of lottery sales, despite attracting crowds on match days far in excess of those at Home Park.

After four years, 208 weekly winners had claimed the top prize of £1,000 with more than 100,000 other prizes, big and small, and the price of each ticket had remained at 20 pence.

With over £700,000 paid out in prizes, and 500 prizes each week, the lottery changed in 1981.

A change in the gambling laws saw the possibility of boosting sales even further as Argyle were permitted to double the weekly top prize to £2,000.

As the operation expanded, a new office was opened at Lemon Street in Truro to make the operation much easier for the distribution of tickets to the Cornish-based agents.

That highlighted part of the marketing strategy that helped the Argyle Lottery succeed where others tried and failed, some quite soon after launching.

Where Argyle succeeded was in the importance placed on reaching out to as many communities as possible in as many ways.

Field managers were set up in various locations. Of course, there was the incentive for all agents selling the tickets to receive a commission, so there was no shortage of people willing to come forward to work on Argyle's behalf.

The prize structure saw a £1,000 first prize with four £100 'near miss' consolations, a £500 second prize with 49 £10 consolations and a third prize of £250 with 499 ticket holders receiving the £1 consolation.

A weekly star prize was in excess of £200, which was illustrated by the opening week's offer of a clothing voucher.

Subsequent prizes included holidays, colour televisions, washing machines, cookers, petrol vouchers, jewellery and meat vouchers.

The first draw was held at the Far Post Club, which was beginning its' third year of operation under the stewardship of Gordon Ward.

Argyle chairman Robert Daniel had the honour of pressing the button for the first time, with manager Mike Kelly doing the honours for the second prize.

On hand to collect the first £1,000 cheque were Mavis and Tony Milton – for the record, the winning ticket number was 27517.

The second draw was also held at the Far Post, but then it was out on the road to Cornwall.

It became apparent that there would be a large attendance at the Swan Hotel in Wadebridge, so attendance was limited to ticket holders only.

It proved to be good news for David Potter and his wife Susan, who revealed that they had just received the estimate for double glazing at their home and the £1,000 prize would cover the cost!

The Argyle Lottery ran for a number of years, and sold millions of tickets.

Perhaps in these austere times, another major money making venture could go a long way to securing the survival of Argyle after 124 years of existence.

Maybe the 'eureka' moment will be met by a modern-day Bill Pearce, whose initiative – quite literally – kept the club alive in the most difficult of times.

Couldn't an initiative be started across Cornwall with the clubs selling the tickets earning a commission on tickets they sell, but with the prize fund accumulated across the county?

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Pastyman, I remember when I worked in Scotland being impressed by the lottery / pools fundraising operation that was operated by both Celtic & Rangers.

I think the advent in 1994 of the National Lottery saw most of these schemes rapidly become redundant

Anyone with a £1 to spend now would probably spend on the lottery in one of its many forms

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"It was an interesting time at Home Park. Club officials were looking forward to staging a European Cup Winners' Cup tie between Manchester United and St Etienne. After crowd trouble in the first leg in France, UEFA ordered the home leg to be played not less than 125 miles from Old Trafford.

Aberdeen was the first choice, but the date clashed with a Scottish League Cup quarter-final, so Argyle officials welcomed the approach from United to play host to the first competitive European game in the city."

A week or so before that match they came out with an offer that anyone who attended the Argyle home league match on the Saturday could purchase tickets for the Man U game. No tickets to be sold in Manchester or the Man U supporters clubs.

That Saturday, I can't remember who Argyle played, someone like Ipswich Town, I was in the Devenport end huddled at the front barrier along with a few hundred other Argyle supporters whilst behind us were thousands of blokes with Man U colours on who had travelled down to watch the game so they could purchase tickets for the European game. Never forgot that,

We were scared stiff, as they were bigger, tougher and louder than us, plus we Devenpot boys were outnumbered about 10 to 1! But it made a mockery of the rule that no Man U supporters could watch the European game.

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"It was an interesting time at Home Park. Club officials were looking forward to staging a European Cup Winners' Cup tie between Manchester United and St Etienne. After crowd trouble in the first leg in France, UEFA ordered the home leg to be played not less than 125 miles from Old Trafford.

Aberdeen was the first choice, but the date clashed with a Scottish League Cup quarter-final, so Argyle officials welcomed the approach from United to play host to the first competitive European game in the city."

A week or so before that match they came out with an offer that anyone who attended the Argyle home league match on the Saturday could purchase tickets for the Man U game. No tickets to be sold in Manchester or the Man U supporters clubs.

That Saturday, I can't remember who Argyle played, someone like Ipswich Town, I was in the Devenport end huddled at the front barrier along with a few hundred other Argyle supporters whilst behind us were thousands of blokes with Man U colours on who had travelled down to watch the game so they could purchase tickets for the European game. Never forgot that,

We were scared stiff, as they were bigger, tougher and louder than us, plus we Devenpot boys were outnumbered about 10 to 1! But it made a mockery of the rule that no Man U supporters could watch the European game.

I was at that game too, and also in the Devonport end !

Caught the train down from Newton Abbot and it was packed to the seams with Man Utd fans !!

If I remember the cause of the trouble in France correctly, it was because we had a bread strike here and the St Etienne crowd were throwing loafs at the Man Utd supporters.

Good /Bad old times indeed.

Mark.

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A week or so before that match they came out with an offer that anyone who attended the Argyle home league match on the Saturday could purchase tickets for the Man U game. No tickets to be sold in Manchester or the Man U supporters clubs.

That Saturday, I can't remember who Argyle played, someone like Ipswich Town, I was in the Devenport end huddled at the front barrier along with a few hundred other Argyle supporters whilst behind us were thousands of blokes with Man U colours on who had travelled down to watch the game so they could purchase tickets for the European game. Never forgot that,

...it made a mockery of the rule that no Man U supporters could watch the European game.

True. I travelled up from Falmouth for the game and I remember Utd supporters in the pub before the match having tickets for sale for all four sides of Home Park.

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  • 8 months later...

There cannot be one single football club within Cornwall who are awash with funds and could not do with some assistance in raising some extra pounds in their budget.

I am old enough to remember what a fantastic job Bill Pearce, a very proud Cornishman, did in 1977 at Plymouth Argyle. Bill, who was Argyles Commercial Manager at the time.

Well worth reading reading the following article found on the THISISDEVON Web Site 18/12/2010

Argyle were lucky winners of Pearce's lottery scheme

Saturday December 18th 2010.

MONEY, or the lack of it, has been high on Plymouth Argyle's agenda in recent weeks.

Maybe not as serious as the present scenario, but the recession of just over three decades ago affected football clubs as it did all other businesses.

It was an interesting time at Home Park. Club officials were looking forward to staging a European Cup Winners' Cup tie between Manchester United and St Etienne. After crowd trouble in the first leg in France, UEFA ordered the home leg to be played not less than 125 miles from Old Trafford.

Aberdeen was the first choice, but the date clashed with a Scottish League Cup quarter-final, so Argyle officials welcomed the approach from United to play host to the first competitive European game in the city.

For Argyle, there was a new signing in the ranks as midfielder Brian Bason had joined the club on loan from Chelsea.

Also, manager Mike Kelly was in talks with Plymothian Fred Binney, who had just returned to England after a spell playing in the North American Soccer League.

But there was bad news for John Peddelty. The defender, along with striker Terry Austin, had joined the Pilgrims as part of a cash-plus-player exchange deal when Paul Mariner was signed by Ipswich Town manager Bobby Robson.

At the age of 22, Peddelty was forced to retire from the game. Three years earlier, he had suffered a fractured skull. But when, for the second time during his stint with Argyle, he was concussed he was sent by the club doctor to see a neurologist, who strongly advised that there was a serious health risk if he continued playing.

On the pitch, a poor run of results was ended with a single goal victory at Bradford City's Valley Parade thanks to Brian Hall's goal.

Off the field, plans came to fruition for a money-spinning venture that would see a regular weekly boost to the club's finances – an Argyle Lottery.

No doubt, Argyle had seen the success of the lottery introduced by the City Council.

Many towns and cities across the country had seen the immediate benefits available of staging lotteries, and Plymouth was ahead of all others in terms of the cash being raised.

With plans for the profits to be ploughed into the construction on seven new community centres and to boost conservation projects, the annual profits were in the region of £175,000.

Plans were introduced for the football club to stage its' own lottery, and the first was held on September 28, 1977.

With 100,000 tickets on sale every week, the lottery began with 92 sell-outs, but it quickly became evident that the initiative of commercial manager Bill Pearce would be a brand leader, not just in football, but for sports clubs in general.

It was seen as such a ground-breaking venture that the Argyle Lottery featured on the ITV News At Ten, which brought additional attention to the club.

Visits were made from the commercial departments of Celtic, Everton, Leicester City, Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Wolves – all keen to see for themselves how the venture was working.

It functioned with the assistance of willing agents from all over the south west. They would sign up customers and visit them every week, delivering the lottery tickets to their doors.

There were more than 700 agents based from the far west of Cornwall through to Taunton.

To give a sense of community involvement, the weekly lottery draw – held every Wednesday – would be held in various locations from minor league football clubs to village halls and from corner shops to social clubs.

It also served as a way of taking the football club to the people as most weeks the lottery roadshow, complete with its random number selector, would be accompanied by an Argyle player or member of the coaching staff to push the button and set the numbers on their way.

The Argyle Lottery was a huge lifeline, with the club in severe need of a regular cash injection at the time it began. That was underlined with the £75,000 signing of striker David Kemp, made possible only because of the lottery.

However, many of the football clubs that followed Argyle's lead were unable to sustain a prolonged period of lottery sales, despite attracting crowds on match days far in excess of those at Home Park.

After four years, 208 weekly winners had claimed the top prize of £1,000 with more than 100,000 other prizes, big and small, and the price of each ticket had remained at 20 pence.

With over £700,000 paid out in prizes, and 500 prizes each week, the lottery changed in 1981.

A change in the gambling laws saw the possibility of boosting sales even further as Argyle were permitted to double the weekly top prize to £2,000.

As the operation expanded, a new office was opened at Lemon Street in Truro to make the operation much easier for the distribution of tickets to the Cornish-based agents.

That highlighted part of the marketing strategy that helped the Argyle Lottery succeed where others tried and failed, some quite soon after launching.

Where Argyle succeeded was in the importance placed on reaching out to as many communities as possible in as many ways.

Field managers were set up in various locations. Of course, there was the incentive for all agents selling the tickets to receive a commission, so there was no shortage of people willing to come forward to work on Argyle's behalf.

The prize structure saw a £1,000 first prize with four £100 'near miss' consolations, a £500 second prize with 49 £10 consolations and a third prize of £250 with 499 ticket holders receiving the £1 consolation.

A weekly star prize was in excess of £200, which was illustrated by the opening week's offer of a clothing voucher.

Subsequent prizes included holidays, colour televisions, washing machines, cookers, petrol vouchers, jewellery and meat vouchers.

The first draw was held at the Far Post Club, which was beginning its' third year of operation under the stewardship of Gordon Ward.

Argyle chairman Robert Daniel had the honour of pressing the button for the first time, with manager Mike Kelly doing the honours for the second prize.

On hand to collect the first £1,000 cheque were Mavis and Tony Milton – for the record, the winning ticket number was 27517.

The second draw was also held at the Far Post, but then it was out on the road to Cornwall.

It became apparent that there would be a large attendance at the Swan Hotel in Wadebridge, so attendance was limited to ticket holders only.

It proved to be good news for David Potter and his wife Susan, who revealed that they had just received the estimate for double glazing at their home and the £1,000 prize would cover the cost!

The Argyle Lottery ran for a number of years, and sold millions of tickets.

Perhaps in these austere times, another major money making venture could go a long way to securing the survival of Argyle after 124 years of existence.

Maybe the 'eureka' moment will be met by a modern-day Bill Pearce, whose initiative – quite literally – kept the club alive in the most difficult of times.

Couldn't an initiative be started across Cornwall with the clubs selling the tickets earning a commission on tickets they sell, but with the prize fund accumulated across the county?

There cannot be one club in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League who would welcome the opportunity of more funds.

Anyone have any constructive thoughts on such a venture?

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why just the Carlesberg South West Penisula League,surely the more clubs involved the more capital and junior clubs are just as strapped for cash.

why not get all the leagues involved then let each league decide on distribution of funds.maybe this way each league would have more buying power to get anything for the clubs like kit,first aid or training gear,goal nets, corner flags,goal posts the list is endless but the point is the more you buy the cheaper therefore helping everyone.just a thought.

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I feel an initiative by the Carlsberg SWPL to instigate a weekly lottery would raise much needed funds across the three leagues.

Clubs would be encouraged to sign up supporters for the lottery and would be duly awarded with a commission.

A case in point, do any of the clubs within the Carlsberg SWPL have an existing lottery? If they do, is it worthwhile?

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