Saints Supporters Crowd Funding To Buy Mel Blyth's 1976 Medal.
Wednesday, 10th Jun 2020 12:41
Mel Blyth is one of only 12 players who have won a major trophy winners medal whilst at the club, sadly he now feels he has to sell it, but plans are afoot to keep the medal in Southampton.
Mel Blyth was part of the 1976 FA Cup final team that shocked the World when beating Manchester United at Wembley
But, 44 years on, he has decided to part with his 1976 FA Cup winner’s medal from the day, in order to bring in some money to help his two children, Kelly and Michael ironically in the year that he will turn 76.
Mel told the Daily Echo:
“I want to give the kids a few bob and I don’t want to live forever.
“I thought to myself that I would put it out there and see how much it would collect. It’s a personal thing but I can’t take it with me.”
“A couple of players have asked me why I’m selling it. It’s the biggest thing the club has ever had, my daughter doesn’t want me to sell it. I’m a bit sad to part with it, but I'm getting no younger."
“Ideally, I would like it to go to an ardent Southampton supporter and someone who followed us in those years when we won the cup,”
“I don’t particularly want it to go to someone who is just going to try to sell it on.
“I would like it to mean something to the person, although I’m aware I might not have any control over that.”
A fundraiser has now been launched to make a grand total of £30,000 and bid for the medal, but has got off to a slow start so far having raised less than £500 of that target in the 2 weeks it has been in operation.
The intention is to buy the medal and then loan it back to the club and this is an admirable intention from the two Saints fans who have arranged the site the link to which is at the bottom of the article.
But it highlights the lack of recognition of the club's history by both the club itself and the fans, the exhibition at the Sea City Museum a few years ago was a big success, but has never been built on.
The Ugly Inside has made numerous proposals to several parties including the club over the past couple of years but with little response with no one wanting to get serious about actually trying to preserve our rich heritage in a suitable and proper matter.
The issue seems to be about ownership of artefacts purchased, I have no doubt that the intentions of the two Saints supporters involved in this fundraising Richard Becheley and Mike Lawrence are solid and well meaning, but it could raise issues going forward including inheritance.
The National Museum of Football recently suggested in an article that the way to proceed for clubs wishing to open museums or exhibitions, should be for Supporters Trusts to be formed where any artefact purchased is not owned by an individual or the club but by the trust, meaning that it will always be there for the benefit of the Supporters whatever the circumstances and will always be owned by the Trust.
15 years ago under Rupert Lowe the club brought Peter Rodrigues FA Cup winners medal after it was sold by his daughter against his wishes and it is now displayed in the foyer at St Mary's where the average supporter rarely sees it.
I support supporters looking to buy Mel Blyth's medal, I will donate myself, but I want to see it done in the right manner and be the catalyst for a supporters trust to be established by like minding people so that this medal can be seen by anyone who wants to see it as part of a wider display and not just for those who are able to go into the foyer of St Mary's.
The link to donate to this worthy cause is below.
Photo: Action Images
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