Aberdeen Mad regular 2stars83, aka Dolly Digital's Mark Elrick, is one of a group of fans who are working with AFC Heritage to create a historic (and massive) banner for Pittodrie - click here to read the story of the banner.
This selfless group of supporters organised an open day at Pittodrie last Sunday 11th November in the Richard Donald Stand concourse from 12-2pm. There, fans could sign the epic flag, make a donation to AFC Heritage, buy some cool merchandise, and have a bit of fun too.
Now, 2stars83 has given us an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes at the event...
There is always a worry when you host an event that nobody turns up. So many factors can have an impact. What if Aberdeen lose? What if it's raining?
Prior to the event we had attempted to get as much exposure as possible. Twitter and Facebook was full of Dandies talking about the event and speculating as to the content of the banner. Aberdeen Mad brought you the updates and exclusive photos. Northsound 2 and particularly Steven McMenemy and Dave MacDermid gave us air-time and spoke positively about the event.
Aberdeen Mad regular TheRedPimpernel was interviewed by Radio Scotland during the event and her interview is probably available to download (she didn't want me to say that!). And what about Aberdeen's local newspapers? Not interested, sadly - but now you know who REALLY cares about you and the rest of the Aberdeen support.
Fears of a damp squeeeb and an empty RDS were gone by 11.45am, when Dons fans started to filter in. The doors weren't officially open until 12pm but families started to tentatively walk into the RDS concourse. 57vintage casually cycled through! (He ayeways was a bit of a casual... - Ed)
By the time the band, Guttergodz, started to play at quarter past 12, the banner and the RDS was filling up. That set the tone for the next two hours. There was a constant stream of people eager to be a part of AFC history and sign their banner. Aberdeen Mad regulars TRP, ReDbeaM, and 57vintage were joined by Chris Gavin from AFC Heritage, Kyle Hewitt from Cycling Away and Gordon Ritchie from Aberdeen FC - they manned (can TRP 'man' something?) the banner and deserve any praise that gets directed at them. They organised the queue and indicted where would be best to sign. TRP and Kyle were photographing the action.
It is difficult to estimate how many attended. But it was busy for close to two hours. There hasn't been an official count of signatures but I would estimate there are at least 1000 on the banner.
It was great to see the Aberdeen FC community all getting involve. Old, young, male, female, Aberdeen Mad and other forums! Loads of people were meeting their social media pals. Kids were getting their faces painted and the balloon 'engineer' (her job title, nae my phrase) was creating red and white crowns for all. Angus the Bull was, of course, on top form. I think I saw Si the Seagull tearing open some bin bags outside the old Broadhill Bar.
Collection bins were by the side of the table. Not one person was 'rattled at' to encourage a donation. This was purely left to the individual to donate whatever they felt comfortable donating (if at all). This generated over £600, which is incredible. This money will go to AFC Heritage, who purchased the banner. The cost of the banner has been recouped, but there are ideas planned for future and this will help fund that without the need to ask the ever-generous Dons fans for yet another donation.
Dolly Digital also organised a Pop Up Shop and invited other Aberdeen FC supporting creatives. Scott Baxter donated a Dnipro print and Richie Mutch donated a number of 'Aberdeen FC One Love' Tees. There were also books from AFC Heritage available. Through sales we were able to add over £200 to the total. So the magic number for the day was close to £1000.
Missed the event? Your signature can still appear on the flag. Post on this thread (click here) and someone will contact you with information.
And you can still make a donation to AFC Heritage using the button below. Please indicate your donation is for this project by typing 'FLAG' when using Paypal.
Together We Can Make A Difference