The club was delighted to welcome Commonwealth, English and Northern Area boxing champion Anthony Nelson to Saturday’s game against Birtley Town.

Nelson 1 smallerAnthony is an example of a superb South Shields sporting success, and the football club recently announced a partnership with the boxer, nicknamed ‘Babyface’.

The Mariners will sponsor the talented super-flyweight ahead of his next bout, which he hopes will be a high-profile TV contest.

Ahead of the Birtley game, Anthony was introduced to the 900+ crowd at Mariners Park, and then watched the game from the O’Brien Lounge with Mal Gates, who trains him at the Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Ground.

Nelson 2smallerAt half-time, he was brought back onto the pitch with South Shields midfielder Julio Arca, who himself is in training for a charity boxing match at the Rainton Meadows Arena in May.

Anthony brought all three of his title belts with him to Mariners Park, and displayed them proudly for the crowd to see.

After the partnership was announced last month, South Shields FC managing director Michael Orr said: “This is a great example of two sports joining together with the common aim of promoting sporting achievement, whilst raising the profile of the town of South Shields to a wider audience.

“Having met Anthony, I have no doubt he will reward our contribution with the utmost dedication and determination to achieve his ambitions. We wish him all the success he deserves.”

Below is a slideshow of images from Anthony’s visit to Mariners Park, as captured by Peter Talbot. They can be viewed in full here: In Pictures – Anthony Nelson at Mariners Park


Created with flickr slideshow.

English and Commonwealth boxing champion Anthony Nelson will be at Mariners Park on Saturday – weeks after a partnership was announced with the club.

Anthony, from South Shields, is being sponsored by South Shields FC in the lead-up to his next fight, which is expected to take place at the end of April.

The talented super-flyweight will attend the Mariners’ game against Birtley Town on Saturday along with coach Mal Gates – who trains him at the Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Gym – and his family.

Anthony Nelson 4Mal said: “We’re delighted to have been invited, and are really looking forward to the game.

“This raises the profile of Anthony again, as there may be people who go to the football who aren’t too aware of him.

“The football team is doing fantastically well, and this will allow people to get to know Anthony a little bit more.

“Some people might not know about him, but he’s a Commonwealth champion from the town.

“We want to give the club something back for what they have given us. We want to support them in any way we can.”

Anthony, nicknamed ‘Babyface’, is unbeaten in all 11 of his professional contests, and that has seen him with the Northern Area, English and Commonwealth/British Empire championships, which he will bring with him on Saturday.

The boxer is expected to meet the players before the game and be introduced to the crowd on the pitch, while he will stay to watch the match.

He is set to be kitted out in South Shields colours when he next makes his way to the ring.

Saturday’s match is the Mariners’ final Saturday home game of the season, with Birtley the visitors to Mariners Park. It also coincides with the Easter weekend and an international break, meaning there will be no Premier League fixtures on at the same time.

Kick-off is at 3pm, and admission prices – to be paid at the turnstiles – are £5 for adults, £3 for students and over-65s, and £1 for under-16s.

IMAGES: Peter Talbot.

South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce a partnership with English and Commonwealth boxing champion Anthony Nelson.

Anthony Nelson 3Anthony, from South Shields, is hoping to box for the British title later this year, and will be sponsored by the football club in the lead-up to the bout.

The move will allow Anthony, nicknamed Babyface, to train full-time in his next training camp, meaning he can fully concentrate on his boxing career.

The talented super-flyweight, who trains at the Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Gym under the tutelage of Mal Gates, is unbeaten in all 11 of his professional contests.

That has seen him win the Northern Area, English and Commonwealth/British Empire championships, but in the build-up to 10 of his fights, he has had to combine training with full-time working as a bricklayer.

Now, though, Anthony says a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders.

He said: “It has been a frustrating few months since my last fight, because several opportunities have fallen through and I’ve been working around the clock.

“I was struggling to get to the gym, so for (chairman) Geoff Thompson and South Shields Football Club to come on board has been a life-saver.

“It’s massive to have this sponsorship and support. It’s not just fantastic from a physical point of view, because I’m tired from work. It has also released so much stress for me.

Anthony Nelson 6“I’m not having to work out when my next money is coming in to put food on the table and pay my bills.

“All I have to think about is my job, which is to train and get fit.

“That’s the way it should be, and how it was previously for me. I’m back to where I need to be thanks to the football club.”

And as Anthony – pictured, right, alongside coach Mal Gates, South Shields FC managing director Michael Orr and Mariners chairman Geoff Thompson – explains, without such support, he may have been forced to walk away from the sport altogether.

However, he is now hoping that himself, and the football club, can put the town ‘on the map’ in their respective sports.

He added: “Over Christmas, I became so disheartened that I was ready to pack boxing in altogether.

“I’ve now got the bug back, though, and this support allows me to target the British title, which would be fantastic for me.

“The more myself and the football club can do for South Shields, the better. We’re both trying to put the town on the map in our own sports.

“It’s fantastic to see the club doing so well, and getting such great support. I’m delighted they have come on board.”

Anthony Nelson 4Mal Gates, pictured left with Anthony, has coached the talented boxer throughout his career, which has included big title wins at Temple Park, in South Shields, and the Metro Radio Arena, in Newcastle.

Mr Gates said: “Anthony has done fantastically well to win three major belts and remain unbeaten whilst having to work full-time for 10 out of his 11 fight camps.

“However, he is now at the stage were he has to be able to train full-time to give him every opportunity to win the belt we have next in our sights, which is the British title.

“Not only would this be a massive achievement for him, but he would be the first boxer from South Shields to challenge for the coveted Lonsdale belt, and we need to give him every opportunity to win it and fulfil his potential.

“Anthony won the English title in a thrilling fight at Temple Park, which for me personally was so satisfying as I had always wanted to be part of a big show in my hometown featuring Anthony.

“We are absolutely delighted to have linked up with South Shields Football Club and hopefully we can bring more success to our hometown.

Anthony Nelson 5“Having met Geoff, we were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and encouragement he showed towards Anthony’s achievements and future ambitions.

“I think he recognised that like himself with the football team, we are also trying to put South Shields on the map for boxing.”

Michael Orr, South Shields FC’s managing director, said: “This is a great example of two sports joining together with the common aim of promoting sporting achievement, whilst raising the profile of the town of South Shields to a wider audience.

“Having met Anthony, I have no doubt he will reward our contribution with the utmost dedication and determination to achieve his ambitions. We wish him all the success he deserves.”

IMAGES: Peter Talbot.

Anthony Nelson 2