Party Head Out To Errea HQ
A little over three weeks ago season-ticket holder Jonathan Westhead was picked as the winner of the competition to design the 2014-15 Third Kit. As part of his prize he was to fly to Errea HQ in Parma, Italy and spend a few days with their designers coming up with four potential options for fans to vote on.
Head of Retail Richard Wild accompanied Jonathan on the 12.25pm Ryanair flight from Manchester to Milan Bergamo Airport on Monday, en-route to rural Italy. Errea Representative Graham Fordy also joined them on the trip.
Below Richard provides a Day One update, with further blogs to follow throughout the week.
The day started later than usual for yours truly, as my daily commute from Rochdale to Blackpool was naturally avoided with a somewhat less arduous trip down the M60 to the airport. I had, very generously I might add, offered to pick Jonathan up from his Bolton home on the way but he had informed me his sister worked in Wythenshaw and would drop him off.
I arrived nice and early at the airport having already pre-booked my car parking slot in advance. I soon met up with Jonathan in Terminal Three and we exchanged views on the game at the weekend. We both came to the consensus that a point was a good result in the overall scheme of things, as we expected Leicester to be in the mix come the end of the season. We were soon joined by Graham, a Middlesbrough fan for his sins and we headed on through check-in.
The first disappointment of the trip was soon experienced as the catering department at Manchester Airport had somehow ran out of bacon by 11.30am. Unforgivable was the overriding emotion of our party, especially as Errea were picking up the tab.
Thoughts soon turned to the real reason for our trip and the potential four designs that Jonathan had in mind. Due to the current home and away kits remaining in place, Jonathan confirmed his line of thinking was towards a 'dark' kit, with blue a common theme during the conversation. He suggested he wasn't a lover of a black kit, so anybody hoping for this particular colour may be disappointed shortly. I explained that Errea manufacture hundreds of kits and that tomorrow, during his tour of HQ, he should look at what they have produced for other clubs all around the world and look to take inspiration from them. You can ultimately decide from his final four choices whether this is the case or not.
We soon boarded the flight and Errea had treated us to extra leg room, which was honestly not what I had expected to be receiving on a Ryanair plane. Just a shame I'm not tall enough to take real advantage of it!
The flight into Milan was scenic to say the least, with stunning views of The Alps on offer throughout the final decent. I did suggest we wouldn't quite have the same luxury on the way home, as Stockport isn't quite so pleasing on the eye.
We were collected on arrival by Antonio and driven, at breakneck speed, the one hour to our hotel in Parma. Antonio was soon rechristened The Stig and everybody was relieved to have arrived in one piece. Oh and I should apologise for the lack of pictures in this article but in my haste to get out of the vehicle I left the camera in his Mercedes People Carrier. For some reason I couldn't wait to get out the thing!
Tuesday is when the real hard work will begin, when Jonathan has the enviable task of coming up with the four designs you will all ultimately vote on. Having spent the day with him I can confirm he is a Seasider through and through and I have no doubts whatsoever that his designs will sit well with fellow supporters. Before that, however, we have an enjoyable evening in-store in Parma, all of course courtesy of our friends at Errea.
Head of Retail