Bailey Financial Services sponsor 1st XV match

Date: 04 March 2015

On Saturday Preston Grasshoppers 1st XV host Harrogate in National League 2 North and we’re delighted to be welcoming Bailey Financial Services to Lightfoot Green as our main match sponsors.

Bailey Financial Services Director Michael (Bill) Bailey is well known to the Lightfoot Green faithful having played for and captained the 1st XV and is now Chairman of Rugby at the club.

Ahead of the game we caught up with him to get his thoughts on business but also rugby.

Who are Bailey Financial Services and what services do you offer?

Bailey Financial Services is a boutique independent financial services business. We pride ourselves in offering friendly and professional support and financial advice to both individuals and businesses, be that in times of need or success.

One area we find to be particularly helpful to businesses at the moment is advice around Workplace Pensions. The government initiative known as Autoenrolment requires all employers to enrol their working in a pension scheme. Read our BLOG here and please get in touch if we can assist you with this or indeed any other financial matter.

Why should Hoppers members consider using Bailey Financial Services?

As a key business supporting Hoppers, we strongly believe in supporting local business. In fact, the majority of new clients are referred to us by local people or local businesses many of whom also support the Hoppers community. I know you will find us to be great local people to deal with as many Hoppers members already do.

Why are Bailey Financial Services keen to sponsor a 1st XV game?

Mike (Bill) Bailey has spent many years playing rugby for the club and has made great friends with whom he has had many a good time at the club. The day is a great way of not only saying thank you to the club for so many fantastic memories, but also a way of saying thank you to friends and clients for supporting the business.

Michael 'Bill' Bailey

Michael ‘Bill’ Bailey

What connections do Bailey Financial Services have to Hoppers?

Apart from the personal connection with Mike, Sarah Edwards’ husband Ted spent many years playing (and socialising) at Hoppers and both sons have also played from a young age. We are a key part of the Hoppers Business Network , a great way to do business with local people.

As chairman of rugby what are your thoughts on the season at Hoppers so far?

Hoppers are getting stronger and stronger. The coaches, Garth Dew and Alan Holmes for the 1st XV and John Young and Ade Jebb for the 2nd XV, are putting together a very good squad. The league table does not show progression of the 1st XV and I predict we will win all 6 remaining games. The coaching staff and players have worked really hard this season and I and the rest of the club are right behind them.

Can England still win the 6 Nations and what hope do they have for the World Cup?

Not sure about winning the Six Nations but they can definitely win the world cup. We are on home soil and I think the bench are a key part to our success. I predict we will reach the final but hope it’s not against New Zealand!!

What are the main differences between when you played in the 1st XV and now?

I think the teams are more competitive. You have to remember I played 1st XV over a 15 year period so saw some changes even whilst playing. The team we got promotion with in 1999 would be competitive in National 2 now. The team I finished with in 2004 would be relegated. In my era we trained hard, played hard and definitely drank hard!! I don’t think they do the drinking hard as much nowadays but we had some great times.

What is your prediction for Saturday against Harrogate?

I honestly believe we will blow them away……

Who is the player you played with during your time in the 1st XV who best fits the descriptions below?

a) Fastest – Gary Monaghan was a fast runner with an incredible side step, he floated across the pitch. Lloyd Bell was also electric off the mark!!
b) Strongest – Neil Leeming by a county mile but Martin Emmett was a close second.
c) Most skilful – Mike Kirby was a skilful operator at 10 and played at Hoppers at the end of his career
d) Funniest – there are so many. One of the funniest moments was when we went to Towcester away and arrived early. Mike Sword decided to busk in the shopping centre with his mouth organ whilst we sat in disbelief watching. Priceless. He got about £5 in change.
e) Fittest – probably the player who maximised his overall potential was Neil Ashton. Strong and very competitive with the ethos you do as I do which has no doubt also helped him in his career .

We look forward to welcoming Michael, his colleagues, clients and guests to Lightfoot Green on Saturday.

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