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Shadow Board

The Cambridge United Shadow Board was formed to help unify and give a stronger voice to fan groups, strengthen fan engagement and ensure fans can act as a sounding board for the Club...

This move followed the repurchase of the Abbey Stadium, together with the stated desire of the owners to introduce ‘Golden Share’ protections for the future. 

The creation of Fan Shadow Boards was one of the key recommendations of the Tracey Crouch Fan Led Review in which Cambridge United were the only EFL club represented on the Advisory Panel.

The establishment of the Board followed productive meetings in 2022 between the Club, Cambridge Fans United (CFU), Cambridge United Supporters' Panel (CUSP), Amber Belles and more recently, the Cambridge United Supporters’ Club, to reach agreement on the Shadow Board role and its constitution. This is published in full and can be read here

The Shadow Board compliments, rather than replaces, the existing four fan groups. Two from each will comprise the inaugural membership of eight representatives who will serve for an initial two-year period.

Member Profiles

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Ben Payne

  • Fan Group: CUSP
  • Years Supporting Club: 33 years
  • Bio: Supporter of Cambridge United for Over 30 years! Been through the dark and difficult days and now here to make sure with the rest of the shadow board and my work with CUSP that we put the club in the best possible position for the future generations. Work in the commercial business world so especially keen to see the club maximise the revenue possibilities to help us grow further. 
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Emma Smith

  • Fan Group: Amber Belles
  • Years Supporting Club: 33 years
  • Bio: Cambridge United has been a huge part of my life for 33 years, bordering on obsessive for some of those! I started watching from the NRE and have since moved over to the Family Stand with our two boys. I’m fortunate to also be involved behind the scenes, as part of Ian Darler’s volunteer team and organising three Hall of Fame events. In 2021, I was invited to serve on the CFU Board which coincided with founding our female supporters’ group, Amber Belles. I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent our fanbase by serving on the club’s first Shadow Board.
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Ben Phillips

  • Fan Group: CFU
  • Years supporting Club: 30 years
  • Bio: I have been coming to the U’s since I was a small child and I am currently vice chair of CFU. I am passionate about fan engagement and on a Matchday I can be found pitchside as one of the club’s photographers. I am also passionate about trying to improve Cambridge United’s visual presence within the city we live in, so we can hopefully engage and find new potential fans. I would like to see the football club continue to improve its Matchday experience and I think it’s crucial that we look at bringing the next generation of young fans into the football club, to allow it to keep flourishing for years to come.
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Nigel Payne

  • Fan Group: CUSP
  • Years Supporting Club: 52 years
  • Bio: I Started coming to the Abbey in 1966 aged 11 with my late father.  Have supported the U's home and away since then. I have two grown up sons who both support the club and four grandchildren who will hopefully attend matches when old enough. I have worked as a Turnstile Operator for the last 22 years and am also a member of the voluntary team running the CUFC lottery which I helped start in 2012. I am also a committee member of 100 years of Coconuts, the historical group of Cambridge United. I care very much about both the heritage and future of Cambridge United. 
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Anouska Wright 

  • Fan Group: Amber Belles and CFU
  • Years Supporting Club: 32 years
  • Bio: I started regularly attending matches in 1990 and what a time that was to be involved.  It has always been a family affair for us, first attending with my Mum, Dad and Brother and now also with my Boyfriend and Son. I am proud to be part of the first Shadow Board as I am passionate about fan engagement.  I would like to help enhance the matchday experience and ensure a safe and accepting environment for all of our fans. I look forward to being a voice for our fans in ensuring our club progresses but also retains its heritage.
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Paul Mayes

  • Fan Group: Cambridge United Supporters' Club
  • Years Supporting Club: 60 years
  • Bio: I have been a U's supporter my whole life and served on Abbey Action, taising money for the football club in the past. I have also been a member of the Supporters Club for the same amount of time, serving on the committee for over 55 years and as Chairman for 45 years. We are looking forward to working side-by-side with the football club to rebuild the stadium with the current owners and directors. I think the future of CUFC is in a good hands and I am sure that we have a fantastic future in the newly built stadium.
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