Love your club: Steven Bell – Stranraer

After nearly three years out of football with injury, there is no wonder Steven Bell holds Stranraer close to his heart after the club gave him a second chance.

But there is far more as to why the Blues’ captain believes the Stair Park outfit are a top club.

He explained to Ladbrokes News why he loves Stranraer…

Why do you love Stranraer?

On a personal note I like the fact they gave me an opportunity to come back into football after a three-year spell out of the game through injury. The manager at the time took a chance on me and the club were very supportive and also paid for an operation for myself.

Secondly, the club’s not very big, but the community come out in their droves and the supporters, win, lose or draw are always happy with us.

They’ve got a good committee who trust the players, are honest and are good people to be running the club as they’ve got Stranraer’s best interests at heart.

One of the other good things is that we train in Glasgow. It’s handy for a lot of the boys, as I think if they trained down in Stranraer, we wouldn’t get the same quality of player, as we have got a bigger pool up here.

Just in general the football club is well run and they are very good to the players, that’s why I love Stranraer.

Describe the fans and what they mean to the club

Without fans there wouldn’t be a club, and I think the majority of the boys would say that. The fans are the ones that keep the club going.

When we go out we are playing for them. We’re not playing for ourselves, we’re playing for the fans. The fans are always contacting me on Facebook, or on Instagram, whatever the result they are always very supportive. I cannot speak highly of them enough.

What’s the vibe like in the dressing room?

I always get butterflies before a game, so maybe that’s me being anxious or excited or a wee bit nervous. At the end of the day you want to win as many games as possible.

Obviously after the game if we’ve got a win, it’s a really good atmosphere and then we get a bus back up to Glasgow, and there’s usually always a party on the bus because we would be happy and excited after the victory that day.

Can you name a Stranraer backroom hero?

The full committee. The way Stranraer run is between six and eight guys who put their weight behind the club, and all do really well for the club. Anything the players ask for they do it for the club.

Robert Rice has been a lifelong supporter, and is now on the board of directors. He stands in the same spot that his father took him to watch the games and is superstitious that way. His daughter is the same, she stands with him, so that’s great to see and shows you the meaning of the club.

There are so many guys I could speak about, but I have a good affiliation with Robert because during my time injured he was particularly supportive of me and sticks out for me.

What do you love most about being a Stranraer footballer?

I think everybody will say the same thing but, scoring goals. I used to be a goal-scoring midfielder but I’m getting a wee bit older now and due to my injuries I can’t do all I used to do. When you score a goal, there’s no feeling like it, whether there are two people there watching or 20,000.

On a personal note, the fact that I have been chosen to be captain for this club. It puts me under a bit more pressure, but it’s something I thrive under. Being able to lead the team at Stranraer to where we want to go is a great achievement not only for myself but for my family.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.