Cherries: Echo calls for Fletcher's inclusion on Honours List
THE Daily Echo today begins a quest to get Steve Fletcher recognised on the Queen's Honours List. Cherries' club captain Fletcher, a popular and well-known figure in the town, is a huge favourite among the Dean Court faithful. Having joined the club in 1992 from hometown team Hartlepool, the 37-year-old made a big impression at AFC Bournemouth and continues to do so by playing a key role in Eddie Howe's side. Prior to this afternoon's match against Bradford City, the veteran targetman is set to officially unveil The Steve Fletcher Stand at Dean Court, after the club rewarded their talisman's loyalty by renaming the North Stand in his honour. And now the Echo is calling for Fletcher's contribution to the club and Bournemouth and lower-league football in general to be recognised with a gong from the Queen. While there is no guarantee that a nomination will yield a place on the list and the honours process is a lengthy one that can take at least 12 to 18 months the Echo believes Cherries' record appearance-maker fits the bill when it comes to some of the criteria. Expert committees decide who deserves to be recognised and then what the appropriate order and level might be. According to the Directgov website: Honours are given to people from all walks of life and all sections of society who have made a difference to their community. From scoring Cherries' opening goal in the 2003 play-off final to netting the strike which saved the club from Football League relegation, Fletcher has played a major role in the club's history. And his lengthy service in two spells with Cherries stretching almost 18 years is a rarity in the modern game, where moving between clubs is commonplace. The Echo will next week submit an official nomination with the newspaper's Cherries reporting trio of Neil Meldrum, Neil Perrett and Ian Wadley all putting their names to the petition. And the move has been backed by Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell, who will send a letter in support. He said: He's been a great servant to the game not just this town and club. He's a good servant to the sport and a good ambassador he's well worth a mention. His dedication, hard work and love of the club is fantastic. That has been shown through the years with the amount of games he's played and goals he's scored. He is a strong character and always has time for everybody, which is a great asset, not just in football. It is nice to see somebody stopping to speak to everybody and it probably takes him half- an-hour to get into the ground! That's what builds a character and what makes fans love him he's one of them. ¢ If you would like to support our bid to get Steve Fletcher's name on the Honours List, email your name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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