Former Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers striker Danny Graham visited 1st Cloud Arena on Friday after his clothing company won a major sponsorship draw.

Danny’s business, Fugati, entered the raffle to win sponsorship of one of the most popular stands at the ground for the 2020-21 season and was randomly selected as the winner.

Fugati’s name now takes pride of place alongside that of the Simonside Branch, who generously donated £1,000 to the raffle in order to name it the Sima Shed.

Danny, whose former clubs also include Swansea City, Watford and Leeds United, said: “I’m delighted that Fugati has linked up with South Shields FC by winning the stand sponsorship raffle.

“As a Gateshead boy, I know the importance of non-league football in the area and what it means to people here.

“For my clothing brand to now be involved with a club as progressive and integral to its community as South Shields is fantastic and hopefully this will be the start of a long and successful relationship.

“I love the set-up at South Shields and it’s clearly a club on the up.

“I wish them all the very best for the season ahead and hope they get the promotion they deserve.”

South Shields FC Business Development Manager Colin Docherty said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Danny Graham to 1st Cloud Arena after Fugati won the stand sponsorship raffle.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered the draw for their support, as the raffle provided much-needed funds for the club during a time of great uncertainty.

“The Simonside Branch in particular deserve a huge amount of praise not only for their support of this draw, but also the continued backing they show us with other regular initiatives, not to mention the incredible vocal support they give us during games.

“The Simonside Branch, Supporters Alliance and several other supporter groups have been nothing short of fantastic during the summer in the way they have supported us.

“We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our magnificent sponsors for their continued support.

“They have been simply outstanding throughout this difficult period for all concerned, and we are excited about the opportunity of further growing those relationships in the months and years to come, to make our sponsors feel a bigger part of South Shields FC than ever before.”

Visit Fugati’s website at www.fugati.co.uk.

South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce a deal has been agreed for the naming rights of Mariners Park.

It is an agreement of great significance for the club in these uncertain times and strengthens its relationship with 1st Cloud Accountants, who have been loyal sponsors for several seasons. The club also now welcomes 1st Cloud Technology as a sponsor for the first time.

The ground will be known as 1st Cloud Arena with immediate effect in a deal that could last up to three years.

North East-based 1st Cloud’s brand has developed quickly over recent years, providing innovative accountancy and technology solutions for small to medium-sized businesses in the region and throughout the UK.

The company opened a South Shields accountancy branch six years ago which has gone from strength to strength and is now a firmly recognisable name in the town. Other 1st Cloud branches and offices are also established in the region.

South Shields FC Business Development Manager Colin Docherty said: “1st Cloud are one of a number of loyal sponsors whose backing over recent years has been so crucial to the club’s progression on and off the pitch.

“We have now strengthened that relationship with this naming rights deal, which is the first of its kind in the club’s history.

“It is an agreement we are certain will provide major benefits to all parties, particularly in the Covid-19 affected world we live in, with so many businesses having seen their revenue streams severely impacted.

“For 1st Cloud to agree this deal at this time further underlines their huge commitment to the club and our vision to take it forward, and we’re hugely grateful for their support.

“Everyone at South Shields FC recognises the emotion attached to the name of football grounds and that some supporters may feel torn over this change, but we hope they will understand why it is so important to us and will embrace 1st Cloud for the invaluable support they continue to give us.

“Our goal is to deliver success for our supporters and everyone connected with the club, and commercial deals such as this one will give us the best possible opportunity of doing that as we aim to grow sustainably.”

1st Cloud Accountancy and Technology Solutions Managing Director and Founder Steven Tuckwell said: “It is with great pride that we partner South Shields Football Club, as we look to strengthen our professional relationship on this exciting journey over the next three years.

“The football club is very much a key part of the North East region and has strong community ties with the town of South Shields.

“It is this community spirit and togetherness that has allowed 1st Cloud to develop in the town, makes this investment in the club so attractive and makes the match day experience so enjoyable for all supporters.

“As our businesses continue to grow in these uncertain times, our collective ambitions both on and off the pitch are key to our long-term success.

“May I take this opportunity to personally thank all the fans and sponsors of this wonderful football club for your ongoing support…and I personally look forward to seeing you all at the 1st Cloud Arena soon!”