TONY gandy - VIQI membership secretary

I am a Professional Mechanical Engineer and work for a large engineering company responsible for the delivery of Project Design solutions on multi million pound contracts. I am also a part time Trade Union Representative and since 2010 have been Organiser and Membership Secretary responsible for supporting a membership of over 5000 people. I have developed good mediation and communication skills as well as a broad experience in balloting members opinions, individual and corporate confidentiality and legislative compliance including Data Protection.

I was born and still live in Widnes and went to St Michaels School and then on to Fisher More, both of which were renowned for producing future rugby league stars as well as fanatical supporters. I started following Widnes in 1975 as we embarked on our Cup Kings era and my first trip to Wembley was in 1976 on one of the dozens of coaches that set off from Queens Av. The following 44 years saw family travel with my family around various parts of the UK and Europe watching Widnes away. I will always remember the trip to the 1989 European Champions Final against St Esteve, being lucky enough to be on one of the coaches that actually arrived in time for the match. Other memories include the night of the 11-10 victory over the touring Australians in ’78 which provided another unmatched accolade in our history. I never grow tired of reminding people that we were the last British club team to beat the invincible Aussies. So from perching sideways on the pitch side wall in the 70’s watching Stuart Wright tearing up the wing, the quiet noise of the Southwest terrace for the ‘89 title decider against Wigan and the emotions of the first game ‘out of administration’ from the back row of the Pat Price Stand I truly believe we have our club back.

I am hoping my creativity and integrity as an Engineer along with my people focused skills in management, representation and communications will help me in my role as Membership Secretary for VIQI allowing me to promote the fair and equal involvement of passionate Vikings fans everywhere. My Grandad wrote a Wembley poem in the 70’s with the line ‘There’ll always be a Widnes why we’ve a rugby team.’ So I am positive that as a collective we can continue to pull together to help sustain what makes us ‘Widnes’