Fleetlands celebrate ‘very special’ club president George Mason with charity veterans tournament
Fleetlands are hosting a veterans charity tournament to recognise the great work of club president George Mason.
The four-team competition, which will take place at Lederle Lane on Saturday July 24, will see sides from Gosport Borough, Portsmouth, Locks Heath and Fleetlands all involved.
Billed as the George Mason Jubilee Award, players and managers of the Coptermen past and present will come together as a show of appreciation to Mason for his years of dedication and service.
Originally from Scotland, he settled in Gosport around 40 years ago and has become a vital part of Fleetlands.
Now club president, Mason has held numerous different roles on the board during his time at the club.
He also played a lead role in the formation of the Hampshire Premier League in 2007, which he remains president of to this day.
Current Fleetlands manager Rich Bessey will manage the Portsmouth veterans team in the tournament.
Former Coptermen boss Kenny Evans, the brains behind the tournament, will manage the Fleetlands vets team while Steve King will oversee the Gosport side.
Fleetlands chairman Iain Sellstrom believes the day provides a fitting occasion to offer a small thanks to a special member of the Hampshire non-league family.
He said: 'It’s a bit of a day of recognition for George and everything he’s done for the club.
‘A lot of people who’ve played or managed through Fleetlands at some point want to get involved to say thank you.
‘I think he’s had every job within Fleetlands, he might have started as secretary, but he’s had every job.
‘It’s fantastic. When I left Gosport Borough I had two or three offers of clubs to go to and Fleetlands was probably the lowest out of all the clubs.
‘But I picked it because it was a club that needed someone. George knew he was getting on in years and he didn’t have the ability to drive it like it needed, and he was a big part of me joining Fleetlands.
‘If I’m brutally honest, it’s probably the past six months how much George means to me personally because every time I’ve had a problem, or something I couldn’t find the answer to or I needed something, George knew the answer or knew where to go.
‘He’s just been such a cornerstone to everything that’s gone on at the club down the years.
'He’s (George) very, very special to Fleetlands, but he’s very special to non-league football in general.
‘What he’s done for Hampshire and non-league clubs, everyone loves and respects George, it’s much deeper than just Fleetlands - but his big love in Fleetlands.'