Updated: Sep 28, 2022
If you have purchased an item of merchandise from the club shop at 1st Cloud Arena over the last seven years, there is a strong chance you will have been greeted by the smiling faces of Bob and Viv Scott.
Bob, a club vice-president, has provided dedicated service leading operations in the club shop since 1992, and he was joined by wife Viv upon our return from Peterlee in 2015.
It is with great sadness that we inform supporters the much-loved couple have decided to step away from their roles in the shop following the 2021-22 season.
With Bob having recently battled some health problems and now approaching his 70th birthday, after much soul-searching he has decided the time is right to step down.
He will continue in his role as a club vice-president and committee member whose responsibilities include running our bingo lottery game, and he will remain a popular figure alongside Viv each matchday.
If anyone has earned the right to rest from all-action matchday activities, it is Bob and Viv.
But as Bob admits, he does so with a heavy heart.
He said: “This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, and I’ve been very emotional about it.
“If I was younger I would carry on for a lot more years but I’m 70 later this year and have some health issues at the moment, although I feel I’m on the mend.
“It has been a fantastic journey for the club and I’m over the moon to have been a part of it. It has been a dream and I’m sure the club will continue to go from strength to strength.
“I’ve loved every minute of it. A lot of people say I must get frustrated when I miss a lot of the football at home games because I’m serving, but I couldn’t have asked for anything better than being involved with the merchandise.
“Everywhere you go now, you see people wearing Shields gear and that makes me feel so proud. It’s heart-warming and makes a difference to the town.”
Bob started watching Shields regularly in 1987 and was involved with the formation of a Supporters’ Association in 1992, serving as treasurer.
He began his merchandise role by selling items including pens, key rings and pin badges from a counter in the downstairs bar at what was then known as Filtrona Park, and as time went on this progressed to replica shirts and a wider range of stock.
Bob even continued to wave the flag for the club during the tough two-year spell in Peterlee between 2013 and 2015, and many supporters will remember him for regularly personally delivering items to their homes during this period, and also over more recent years.
Bob added: “Since Geoff took over the club in 2015 it has taken off, and our success is so much down to him and the team behind the scenes.
“It has been important to maintain the interest of newer supporters over the last seven years, so I’ve tried to do everything I could to get them to come back. I’ve taken items to houses in the summer months and people were very appreciative of that, and still mention it to me now, which makes it all worthwhile.
“To do it alongside Viv over the last seven years has also given me a lot of pleasure.
“Most married couples are probably the same in that if one person is very keen on football, it can cause a bit of aggravation at times. Viv has been great, though. I think with her it was a case of, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them!’
“When we came back from Peterlee I told her how busy it was getting and said I’ve love her to come along on matchdays and help me. She said yes and came to love it every bit as much as I do.
“She has been emotional since I made the decision, as I have been, because she loves the chatter with supporters at the counter.
“We’d like to think we’ve built up a good rapport with a lot of supporters and we’re going to miss that side of it hugely.
“Now is the right time to step away from the shop, but we will remain heavily involved at the club and can’t wait to see everyone again next season. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Thank you for everything, Bob and Viv. We are sure every supporter will join us in thanking you for your incredible service and efforts, and we too can’t wait to see you both again in 2022-23. You are part of the fabric of our club.