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Final "Busy Doing Nothing" 2021

I've just had the most magnificent conversation with the Portico legend that is the one and only Tony Peers and I swear our man is a walking encyclopedia of Portico knowledge.

If you don't know Tony Peers you've missed out on a real Portico experience.

I first met Tony at Saint's as he sits right in front of Sean Furlong and myself and Sean said to me that's Tony Peers I'll introduce you to him you'll like him he's right up your street he's Mr Portico and he wasn't wrong.

Back in 1990-91 the Portico nomads were playing all over the place at various grounds such as King George 5th Playing Fields, Bishop Road, Grange Park School fields & basically anywhere they could get a pitch.

It became obvious that Portico needed a place to call home so two local lads Robbie Meechan a Scotsman who had called St Helens his home & Tommy Feeney got together to try to make this dream a reality.

They approached various individuals with no joy and then ask the St Helens council about the availability of Scholes Lane which they had purchased from a local farmer for Grange Park School.

They were told emphatically that that land was to be used for housing.

That set both Tommy & Robbie thinking about a story they'd both heard that upon the sale of the land the farmer's wife Maggie Waterworth had stipulated within the legal documents that it should only be used for community recreation.

Tommy & Robbie spent hours in the local libraries going through old news papers and council documents that they could find trying to unearth the facts from the fiction as St Helens town hall said they knew nothing about such an agreement. 😉

Reaching near exhaustion after what seemed like an eternity of searching Tommy and Robbie found an article which then lead them to a council document that proved the land at Scholes Lane was to remain as a community facility and St Helens council had to withdraw their application to build houses on the land.

Now before we go any further without these lads and their sheer determination and complete endeavour Scholes Lane playing fields would not exist today and gentleman we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude and I salute you.

Portico took over the changing facilities which were then rat infested flooded and without any electrical power what a challenge this had become and without any help from a very disgruntled St Helens council.

The boys of Portico started growing Tommy Feeney, Scots Robbie Meechan, Tony Peers and all those other local hero's started recruiting local joiners plumbers bricklayers tilers & painters to help rebuild Hitler's Bunker as it's fondly known as there are no windows 🤣

The nomads finally had a place to call home.

Robbie Meechan approach a local mini bus company called Bennett & Cunningham and he sweet talked them into providing free transport for away games which meant the Portico coaches could all have a drink after the game absolute genius.

Scots Robbie also put a business plan together which produced a successful lottery bid which meant there was funding to help revamp the changing facilities and turn them into a place to call home. How did they achieve all this..? as these were lads worked all day and all had young families and other commitments in life, yet still found the time to do all this for their local community without doubt true local hero's.

I thank Tony Peers for his time, patience and knowledge but most of all his friendship and total loyalty to Portico Vine.

My one regret is not ever meeting Scots Robbie Meechan & Tommy Feeney but then again they do say you shouldn't meet your hero's.

Billy Vaughan

Vice Chairman

The Captain 💚💛


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