Blog #31 Bayern Munchen’s Frank Ribery has added a Ballon D’or trophy to his recent Champions League Winners medal. The award had been known as the ‘European Player of the Year’ but UEFA has given it a shake up in recent years. It is now known as the “UEFA Best Player in Europe Award”. UEFA President Michel Platini announced during the presentation in Monaco that Ribery had won, with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as runner up and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo finishing in third place. Messi, Ribery and Ronaldo had formed the final shortlist after journalists from each of UEFA’s member countries had voted. 52 journalists from the European Sports Media association had looked at the top ten (as mentioned in my previous blog entry) and selected Ribery as the overall winner. The 2013 ‘Best Player in Europe Award’ will be voted for tonight during the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco. Journalists from each of the UEFA countries will vote from the list shown below. My personal favorite has to be Lionel Messi, as he has scored so many times during Barcelona’s 2012/2013 season. I have watched him play on the TV countless times and he has created goals from all areas of the pitch. I remember he once scored a hand full of goals while not fully fit. – With four of the ten players on list playing for the champions league winners Bayern Muchen, I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody like Muller nipped in front of Messi to win it. More news via the Blog when the winner is announced. The shortlist is: ~ Gareth Bale – Tottenham Hotspur FC ~ Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid ~ Zlatan Ibrahimović – Paris Saint-Germain ~ Robert Lewandowski – Borussia Dortmund ~ Lionel Messi – FC Barcelona ~ Thomas Muller – FC Bayern Munchen ~ Franck Ribéry – FC Bayern Munchen ~ Arjen Robben – FC Bayern München ~ Bastian Schweinsteiger – FC Bayern Munchen ~ Robin van Persie – Manchester United FC Blog #25 ~ Lending an Helping Hand. Recently I helped to start a 1800 mile journey for 46 bikes that will be used by Children at an Orphanage in Bulgaria. These bikes we’re purchased, donated, serviced and fixed by a unemployed 50 year old Selby man (who wishes to remain nameless). I spotted an appeal by the charity to help complete their logistical nightmare. The charity had already done the hard work by gaining freight space on a Bulgarian lorry that was due to leave Bradford. All that was needed was a van and a driver to get them from Selby to Bradford. I spoke to my business partner, and we agreed that LRB Trophies would cover the hire van cost, diesel and my time as the driver. The couple who run the charity are based in Peterborough, but they have family and friends based in Selby. The couple regularly visit the Dimcho Debelianov Orphanage in Silstra based in North East Bulgaria and have sorted out a smaller freight company to meet the lorry in the capital city of Sofia. This is something that we all should do once in a while, spare a few hours to help someone. You don’t have to spend money on hiring a van. But you can do your good deed for the day. I’m sure there is a local charity or children’s club near by crying out for that little bit of help. Business owners are use to making quick decisions and spending money to get the job done. For more information on the Orphanage or to make a donation please visit: www.bulgariaorphanagesillistra.com Blog #18 ~ NEWS ~ We have had a very busy week over here in LRB land. We have had 11 new customers and half a dozen ongoing new quotes and projects. I somehow managed to find some time to write 2x ‘Business Matters’ newspaper columns that we’re emailed to the powers that be straight away. One was printed the very next day, while the second will be featured a week next Wednesday. Have a look out for them! We have also finally made contact with one of the largest sports and social clubs in the area. We look forward to providing details on how we can help them in the future with our engraving and trophy supply skills. I have just been on the phone with a potential new customer, who could provide us with a much wider audience for many future projects. Fingers crossed that it all works out for us. In completely different news, I have taken all of the glass doors off our display cabinets… Sounds a bit random, but it means our visiting customers now have easier access to our display stock. It brings down ‘barriers’ between them and our future sales! Why not try it in your office or shop, you never know it might work!Blog #37 – Bit of a crazy week for us so far. On Monday I set ourselves a target of 20 new customers, at the time of writing (Friday morning) we are on 31! This includes, caravan bookings, online sales and people coming into the showroom. Also we have had our new (old!) range of vintage items delivered, so we will be sorting them out and updating our online shop very soon. My latest newspaper column was printed yesterday, mainly focused on attracting people into our local high street, which isn’t happening at the moment with our new unfriendly traffic wardens. Also last night we had a stand at the local Wedding Fair. We Spoke to loads and loads of new people about our gifts/silver/crystal range so hope to see them all soon to place orders. Today is my daughters 3rd birthday, the ‘LRB’ part of our company name is named after her. Just another 15 years before she can take over from Daddy!