February 16th 2011
UK’s Number One Domestic airline unveils 4th aircraft in its football legends’ fleet in memory of Grecian’s former striker, Adam Stansfield
Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s Number One Domestic carrier, will today honour another football legend by naming one of its aircraft after the late Exeter City striker, Adam Stansfield. Unveiled at the airline’s Exeter HQ this afternoon, the Q400 aircraft sports a striking image of the Grecians legend in action, alongside his name.
The aircraft was unveiled by Adam’s wife Marie and family and joins an elite group, becoming only the fourth of the airline’s ‘footballing fleet’ comprising George Best, Matt Le Tissier and Kevin Keegan. Such an honour is reserved for those players who have become true sporting legends within their communities and in, this particular instance, it also reflects Flybe’s long-standing relationship with Exeter City FC that dates back to 2002.
Adam Stansfield, known affectionately as ‘Stanno’ by Grecian supporters, passed away in August 2010 having been diagnosed with bowel cancer in March and his death was followed by a huge outpouring of grief by the community with condolences being sent from across the entire football world.
It is hoped that the newly dedicated aircraft, ‘Adam Stansfield’, will contribute to raising awareness for the Adam Stansfield Foundation, a fundraising charity set up to promote the development of young footballers throughout Devon and Somerset. The Foundation is a fitting tribute to Stansfield who played in the Exeter City team that achieved three promotions in four seasons and he was in the best form of his career prior to his diagnosis in March 2010.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Simon Lilley, Flybe’s Director of Marketing commented: “Adam was the perfect example of a sporting role model and our decision to name this aircraft after him reflects his status here in Exeter and throughout the wider South West community. He was not only well-respected for his professional skills on the pitch but much loved for also touching the hearts of the wider community as a local boy who lived the dream.”
Julian Tagg, Exeter City’s Vice Chair, added: “Be they a team mate or supporter, nobody ever saw Adam give anything less than 100% on the field of play. It was this characteristic for which he was renowned at Exeter City and revered and respected across the world of football. Perhaps more importantly it was his humility, decency and kind and thoughtful nature that was the reason he was loved by so many both inside and outside the football world so he would have been thoroughly surprised by all the attention but obviously honoured at Flybe’s fantastic gesture.”
Adds Mr Lilley: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Adam’s family for allowing us this privilege and hope that by honouring his memory in this way, ‘Stanno’s’ aircraft will play a role in helping to raise the awareness of the Adam Stansfield Foundation, encouraging a new generation of footballers throughout Devon and Somerset to follow in his footsteps.”