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First team

Minus 17 premiere supported by local businesses


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth are looking back to the 2008/09 season with the Minus 17 documentary, but there were plenty of external businesses who helped the club during its darkest hour.

The Minus 17 premiere takes place at the Odeon on Wednesday 24th April, and the three headline sponsors were all part of the memorable quest to avoid the drop out of the Football League and potentially into extinction.

Hill Osborne, BH Calibration and Instant Refrigeration Services all helped the club when it needed it most and continue to be involved.

The trio of businesses have sponsored the event which will see Minus 17 air for the first time to the public, with players such as Steve Fletcher, Mark Molesley, Darren Anderton and Danny Hollands accompanying Eddie Howe at the cinema to watch with the rest of the squad, supporters and sponsors.

We contacted the three local businesses to get their memories from the season and asked why they wanted to be involved in the launch of Minus 17.

Tony Millward (Instant Refrigeration)

As a company, we do lots of work for the club but that season was a particular high point. It was our first season sponsoring the club and it was also the one that started this magnificent journey.

We had hospitality for the Grimsby game that obviously every Cherries fan has etched in their memory, it was an unbelievable feeling when Steve Fletcher scored his goal.

From then on, it's only been upwards and there have been so many good times and good memories. But supporters never forget that season and it's great the club are remembering where they have come from.

Brian Higgs (BH Calibration)

I've been a season ticket holder since 1986/87 and I've only missed one home game since then.

When I started my own company, I thought it would be a good idea to get involved with the club and some of the people I have invited down over the years have become my biggest clients!

It's great to be involved with the club, the clients enjoy it and it's great exposure for the business.

I emptied my wallet into buckets and I always thought, how can I help the club personally? So, I emptied my holiday savings with my wife - I didn't tell her - and I delivered it to the club because I wanted to make a difference.

How could I enjoy myself on a beach somewhere not knowing if I'll have a club to return to.

That season was simply unbelievable, I'm a prostate cancer survivor and every year I want to help Dorset Cancer Care and the football club.

I look forward to the documentary, I'm 77 and as long as I'm working I will continue to work with this club.

Richard Osborne (Hill Osborne Chartered Accountants)

I'm delighted to be a part of what will be a special evening having been a Cherries fan for 50 years and remembering a momentous season.

I remember every game from that season, I was at 40 of the 46 - everything from losing 3-0 to Accrington away to the Exeter away game where we were 3-1 winners and Brett Pitman was unbelievable.

The turning point for me that season at the end of December was when we lost to Barnet, the club had no direction and then the decision was made to give Eddie Howe the job.

Then we got some great results, who will ever forget the Dagenham and Chester away games! Being there as a fan was incredible and to look back on those memories will be fantastic.

Even the games like Macclesfield away when Lee Bradbury scored twice, I have so many memories!

We were in serious danger of dropping out of the Football League, and to say ten years on we're helping support an evening like this is brilliant.

It's one of the most memorable seasons and we're all really looking forward to seeing Minus 17.

The club would like to thank Hill Osborne, Instant Refrigeration and BH Calibration for their support of the premiere of Minus 17.


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