Youngsters in South Tyneside are set to receive Tickets To The Future at Mariners Park as part of a heart-warming fan-led initiative.
South Shields supporter Jeff Bell, who lives in London, started things off by purchasing eight child season tickets for the 2020-21 campaign before donating them back to the club.
Jeff’s wish was for the tickets to be given to deserving children who would not usually have the opportunity to attend games at Mariners Park. The club has committed to working with SSFC Foundation to identify those children.
After Jeff’s generosity was publicised on social media, a host of other figures came forward to donate tickets.
Fellow supporter Dan Duggan followed up by snapping up two tickets of his own, while SSFC vice-president Bob Scott and his wife Viv also added tickets to the fund.
Gordon Picton – the father of Shields joint manager Lee – was another to donate tickets, along with SSFC business development manager Colin Docherty and his son Scott, club media manager Daniel Prince and supporter Roger Askew, among many others, including Alan Winstanley, the father of former SSFC Academy player Joe, who provided five tickets.
By close of play on Wednesday, the total number of season tickets donated stood at 35.
If anyone else would like to purchase Tickets To The Future and donate them, please call 0191 454 7800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here and select the type and number of tickets you would like to donate.
Thank you for your magnificent support.
During these uncertain and worrying times for people from all walks of life, South Shields Football Club is committed to giving the community a helping hand in whatever way it can.
Earlier this week, the club posted on social media that it was looking to help food banks in South Tyneside meet the demand for collections and deliveries over the coming weeks.
An approach was quickly made by Key 2 Life Food Bank, which is based at Boldon Lane Library in South Shields.
Key 2 Life is the longest-running food bank in South Tyneside and plays a crucial part in helping some of the most vulnerable people in the area. Last year the food bank gave out over 4,000 parcels.
On Friday, SSFC captain Jon Shaw, Business Development Manager Colin Docherty and Media Manager Daniel Prince joined Jo Benham Brown, who helps to oversee the volunteer-led food bank, and collected and delivered vital supplies which were paid for by generous donations from the public.
They then helped to unpack the supplies and make parcels at the food bank, and it is expected that members of the club will assist the volunteers on a regular basis moving forward.
Jon Shaw said: “At a time like this it’s important that we stick together as a community and if we as a club can help those in the most unfortunate positions we will.
“We’re all more than happy to commit time and effort over the coming weeks and months to support the families that need it the most.
“We know we’re only making a small dent on it but we will try to help as much as we can.
“Seeing the efforts people go to at the food bank on a voluntary basis is really humbling and inspiring for us all.
“We are happy to commit more time to helping out here not just in the immediate future but long-term as well.”
Jo Benham Brown, Business and Development Manager for Key Project, helps to oversee Key 2 Life at Boldon Lane Library.
She said: “We really appreciated the support at a time when we are struggling to get enough donations to feed families that are in crisis in South Shields.
“It was great to see the lads helping out at the food bank and the offer of more help over the coming weeks to support us is brilliant.
“We have lots of measures in place to ensure the food and supplies go to the most vulnerable and in need people in South Tyneside, and support like this is invaluable.”
Members of the public can help by bringing items to the food bank at Boldon Lane Library between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Particular items which are needed at the moment are pasta sauce, UHT milk, tinned potatoes, tinned meals such as spaghetti bolognese, chilli and curry, toilet rolls and shower gel.
The club is pleased to announce the appointment of Colin Docherty as Business Development Manager.
Colin was previously at the club between 2015 and 2016 as he helped it develop in its early days at Mariners Park after returning from Peterlee.
He will now work with the commercial team in helping to drive the Mariners forward, assisting with sponsorship, events and marketing.
Club Chairman Geoff Thompson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Colin back to the club.
“He is someone who knows the club well, knows the people here and is passionate about our club.
“He is very clear on what needs to be achieved off the pitch but I’m fully confident in his ability to work with the commercial team in developing us positively off the pitch as we seek to grow and achieve our ambitions.”
Colin said: “When the opportunity of returning to the club was discussed with Geoff, it was too good to turn down.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time here previously and I’m looking forward to helping push the club further forward.
“I have some great memories of my first spell here and I’m hoping there will be plenty more on the way.
“It’s inspiring to see how much the club has grown since I was here and I’m confident there is plenty more growth to come.
“I’m looking forward to connecting with our supporters and existing sponsors once again, and I am also in the process of reaching out to prospective new sponsors as we aim to drive the club forward together.”