Is this 'pound-for-pound' the best Crawley Town squad ever? Lifelong Reds fan and author of new book thinks so
Lifelong Crawley Town fan Steve Leake believes the current Reds squad is pound-for-pound the best they have ever had.
Leake, who has just released a new book called Noli Cedere: An account of one family’s journey through life, has been watching the side for 64 years and he would love to see the Reds reach the play offs this year.
The only way fans will be able to watch the Reds in the flesh this season now will be if they reach the play-offs.
'Every family has got a story to tell and this is mine' - Crawley Town fan's life told in new book written in Lockdown
He said: “When Boris revealed his plans for letting fans back in the grounds, I texted Erdem [Konyar] and John [Yems] to make the players knew.
“I would love to watch Crawley Town play at Wemble, that would be the dream. I have been to Wembely with Crawley but they weren’t playing it was Man City v Stoke and they were getting a giant-killing award.
“ I think there are only two league teams that haven’t played at Wembley, Crawley and Accrington. ”
Leake’s new book connects big moments his life to big moments in Crawley Town’s journey over the past 64 years.
And how does the 69-year-old rate the current squad? “As a squad I think we’re very strong, there are some great players and I think Tom Nichols is superb,” he said. “That goal he scored against Tranmere was fantastic.
“I think I would place them just behind the conference winning side because that was a League one side, pound for pound they are probably a better side, because we are spending less money on them.”
And which games and results are important to him?
“There are so many,” he said. “The Weymouth away game was important to me, when we won the league at the end of the season was another one.
“There have been other big games, Northampton was a big one because it was the first time we had beaten a league side. Manchester United in the FA Cup was a big game, because it put us on the stage.”
Leake is the Crawley Town Supporter’s Alliance Fan Rep and he believes the club now have a really good relationship with the fans. He said: “It’s very good. The community part of it is very important I think the more open you become the better it is. Hopefully in a few years time there will be more Crawley supporters. I started Reds Rollover which makes about £1500 a year, which I know isn’t a lot but we have 46 people paying into it so if we could grow our numbers they would earn a lot more money.”
And who are Steve’s favourite players? He said: “I’ve got a few, Ray Carter, Terry Robins they’re all goal scorers, and of course Matt Tubbs!”
If you would like to read Steve’s book, you can buy it on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle edition.
Fans Mick Fox and John Barnett helped with the book and Leake is grateful to them.
All profits from the book will got to Sands - the stillbirth and neonatal death charity - which is a subject very close to Steve’s heart - and the Crawley Town Community Foundation in recognition of their work throughout Covid in the community..
In 2003, Steve’s daughter Vicky gave birth stillborn to Steve’s grandson Alex and now the first-time author wants to give something back to the charity who has helped the family.
Steve’s book also has memories of his time working for Rediffusion Simulation and other companies on Manor Royal as well as his career as a teacher at ICC, Oakwood, Oriel and Holy Trinity.