Ahem... Walther (from memory)
First one I think was run by Pete Dutton. I don't think there was any factory support. I believe
he handed me the reins before when we did what they said could not be done and kicked AA factory sponsored backside... I think that was Pete's last season in FT, in truth he'd done the work in getting the team established the years before to the point where it attracted names that were capable of taking on AA.
Then after a rest Mike Williams ran another a while later to do what they said could not be done and we did it again, kicking AA factory backside again.
During the first one there was a gift of some stickers, badges, a couple of hats, 3(?) regs and some seals direct from Walther Germany... my mk1 reg was swapped out. We did have a line in for spares direct from Germany but as it was before Transferwise etc it was £20+ to organise the bank transfer, so normally if it was something small they just sent the bits over FOC.
For the second one Mike organised support from ControlGear who paid for the shirts and the entry at the time.
We sent Walther photos and they put them on the office wall.
There was the Walther party that they sent the company G6 over for but it had all gone to pot by then, Chubby was already getting his backside out at any given press opportunity citing he was now sponsored by Veet and wanted to get them some decent exposure. Dave Semmens was pursing a career in skateboarding and was interested in nothing else. Mike by then had become obsessed by his image after watching Zoolander and started a male modelling agency with him as the sole talent. Neil had got the hump with this and was now deeply involved in an underground apple scrumping ring in the Midlands. Neale started a chain of hairdressers. I had a breakdown and decided to shoot a Steyr and Andrew went off to try for Weymouth FC, again. John had seen it all before, just took it in his stride, retired to Lake Garda with an ex Miss World or two.
The crazy 8.
I always thought it was a shame that Walther didn't appear to grasp the opportunity. But I don't think that's unique to Walther, which is why I'm involved (as are a growing list of names) in trying to bring that opportunity to their doorstep for all the airgun target sports.