Geoff Thompson

Geoff became chairman of the club in May 2015 after securing a deal to bring it back to Mariners Park.

As a boy, he attended games at Simonside Hall, and after completing the deal for Mariners Park, Geoff, originally from Whiteleas, said: “The committee has done a tremendous job to keep the club alive over what has been an extremely difficult period in its history.

“I’m delighted to be able to help out, and very excited to now be part of such a historic football club with vast potential.

“I’m confident that there are some very exciting times ahead for the club, and the first step towards that was to ensure it got back into the town as quickly as possible.

“To do that at a facility as excellent as Mariners Park is fantastic, as it has everything we need, and so much potential to be improved further in the future.”

On his ambitions for the club, Geoff added: “Ultimately, from a first-team point of view we want to progress as high up the football pyramid as we can.

“We want the club to be vibrant from top to bottom, though, and we feel it has a huge role to play in the community.

“The club already has a superb junior section, which we hope will grow and flourish further, and a big aspect for me is the community side of things.

“I want us to be at the centre of the community, and we hope to build partnerships with the local authority and schools as part of this.

“Mariners Park will be at the forefront of everything we do, and we can hold community events there, while we would also like our football coaches to go out into South Tyneside schools to put on sessions and inspire the next generation to play football and realise their full potential.”