More than £3,500 has been raised for the charity Cancer Connections after the South Shields community put its shirt on an exciting campaign.

South Shields FC’s limited edition community shirt, designed by Little Mix superstar Jade Thirlwall and North East illustrator and designer James Dixon, proved incredibly popular after its launch in October.

All of the Mariners’ profits from sales of the item are being donated to Cancer Connections, of which Jade – also the club’s honorary president – is a long-term supporter and patron.

A cheque for £3,637.37 was presented to the charity by Shields player-assistant manager Jon Shaw and captain Blair Adams on a special visit to the facility, based on Harton Lane in South Shields.

With the shirts – which celebrate some of the town’s most famous names and landmarks – still on sale, that figure is expected to rise in the weeks ahead.

Cancer Connections provides advice and support to cancer patients, carers and families with the aim of making the turbulent journey a little easier for everyone involved.

Charity manager Deborah Roberts said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be involved with South Shields FC, especially considering our patron Jade designed the shirt and has a big connection with the club.

“It has been a difficult two years for fundraising because of the pandemic, so to have a donation of this size is going to be a huge help.

“It’s a beautiful and memorable shirt which is meaningful to anyone who is connected to the town, and the community bought into it massively, far exceeding our expectations.

“We can’t do what we do without people supporting us and making contributions.

“It’s a whole community effort to help those who really need it and Cancer Connections belongs to the community.

“Without the support of brilliant organisations like South Shields Football Club, what we do wouldn’t be possible.”

The money raised for Cancer Connections will help the charity continue its invaluable services, including providing complimentary and vital therapies for cancer patients to give them and their families respite from the stresses of treatment.

South Shields FC player-assistant manager Jon Shaw said: “It was a pleasure to visit Cancer Connections and get a small insight into the incredible work they do.

“It truly is a fantastic facility and I can see why many people who use it describe it as a home from home, because that’s what it feels like.

“Our community shirt was warmly received by supporters and players, and to know that our fanbase came together to buy so many of them and support such a worthwhile charity at the same time is uplifting.

“It’s clear that the funds raised will go such a long way and help so many people in our community.”

The limited edition community shirts remain on sale at https://store.southshieldsfc.co.uk/.

Little Mix superstar Jade Thirlwall has teamed up with a renowned designer in an exciting collaboration to create a limited edition community shirt for South Shields FC.

Jade, the club’s honorary president, worked with North East illustrator and designer James Dixon to devise the shirt, which spearheads a charitable campaign.

All profits raised through sales of the item – which celebrates all that is good about the town of South Shields – will be donated by the club to the charity Cancer Connections, of which Jade is a long-term supporter and patron.

South Shields FC is a progressive, forward-thinking club with ambition to climb the football pyramid, but its broader aim is to be seen as an integral and positive part of the town in which it sits.

Like Jade, the club is proud to represent South Shields, and recognises the positive difference football can bring to people’s lives.

Club chairman Geoff Thompson said: “We hope to build on the rich history of our great club and strive to create something really special for the town and everyone connected.

“The success of our football club stretches far beyond simply winning on a Saturday.

“We want to positively impact people’s lives, by offering hope and excitement through our vision.

“We strive to create an environment where people feel they belong and we want to support and champion the ongoing great work of others across the town.

“This community shirt was the brainchild of our president, Jade Thirlwall, who wanted to work with local people to celebrate the town and in doing so will raise essential money for a local charity close to her heart.

“When the idea first sparked we expressed our delight to be involved.”

The football club has kindly agreed to donate all club profits raised from shirt sales to Cancer Connections, a South Shields-based charity where Jade is a patron alongside Dame Margaret Barbour and Paralympic gold medallist Josef Craig MBE.

The club’s players wore the shirt ahead of Wednesday’s game against Sunderland’s Under-23s at 1st Cloud Arena, with Jade’s nephew Karl walking the team out as mascot.

Jade said: “Creating the Limited Edition Community Shirt for South Shields FC has been incredibly special for me.

“As honorary president of the club, I believe my role is to use my platform to put the club and South Shields on the map and show the world how proud we are as a town and community. The shirt reflects that very notion.

“With the proceeds going directly to local charity Cancer Connections, this is a shirt which every fan can wear with absolute pride knowing that by doing so they will be helping someone locally who is struggling with the devastating impact of cancer.

“It was important for me to bring on board a North East artist to help me design the shirt.

“I’ve been a fan of James’ (Lines Behind) work for quite some time and I knew he’d be the perfect fit in helping me create this special shirt.

“Together we’ve created a shirt that really captures South Shields and its community spirit – using the club’s signature colours in the artwork we incorporated many of the town’s landmarks and things we are most proud of.

“Support South Shields FC, support the town, and wear this Limited Edition shirt with pride!”

The work of James Dixon, from Lines Behind, can be seen across the North East and beyond.

From coffee cup sleeves to huge wall art displays, James’ work is never far away.

He hopes this will be the start of long-lasting relationship with the town and the football club, building on his already positive relationship with Jade.

He said: “This was a huge opportunity for me to work with the football club and Jade, and for me there was no better way than to put my signature Lines Behind stamp on it.

“For me, the shirt is everything and more. We want this to be about the community and the town.

“We both saw it as an opportunity to shout about the landmarks and the people, and how we can grow together as one.

“I have a great feeling this limited edition shirt will be well received by not only the lovers of football but people far and wide who see it as a collector’s item.

“My bond and working relationship with Jade and the club, especially Colin Docherty, has been incredible.

“Jade has been really supportive of my work and the club has shared the same passion.

“I urge everyone to shout about it, and hope kids, teenagers, all the lads and lasses local to the area, and all the Sanddancers far and wide wear this shirt with great pride.”

Cancer Connections is due to be the beneficiary of successful shirt sales during this campaign, with the club wanting to support the charity’s ongoing work within the local community.

Based on Harton Lane in South Shields, Cancer Connections provides advice and support to cancer patients, carers and families with the aim of making the turbulent journey a little easier for everyone involved.

The charity recognises the importance of building and maintaining a close community of support for anyone affected by the disease.

Charity manager Deborah Roberts said: “It’s amazing that the football club is prepared to donate all of the profits from the sales of this brilliant shirt to the charity.

“As all charities have found, it has been extremely difficult for us to raise funds in the ways we usually would during the pandemic, so to be boosted by an initiative like this is a huge blessing.

“Jade is an incredible patron for our charity and ambassador for the football club and town of South Shields. This is just the latest example of the remarkable support she provides us.

“Anyone who buys this shirt will directly help us serve individuals and families suffering from cancer and its after-effects.

“We’re proud to be associated with this campaign and can’t wait to see lots of people wearing the shirt in South Shields and beyond.”

The shirt will be available to buy from 4pm on Friday 29th October and will be priced at £32 for children and £38 for adults.

The club shop can be found online at store.southshieldsfc.co.uk, and there will also be availability at 1st Cloud Arena.

Help us to help others by purchasing one of these limited edition shirts. The football club will donate all profits it receives from shirt sales to Cancer Connections.

Honorary President Jade Thirlwall has underlined her support for South Shields Football Club by becoming a shareholder.

The Little Mix star is one of over 750 individuals to have invested as the club takes its first steps towards fan ownership.

The initial target for the investment round was £250,000 but with over £280,000 worth of shares snapped up so far, the campaign has already hit the back of the net.

Every penny raised will remain within the club and be reinvested as part of its plans to continue progressing through the football pyramid while leading and supporting important community projects.

Individuals have until Saturday, November 28 to get their hands on shares before the campaign, which is being hosted by investment platform Seedrs, closes.

South Shields FC Chairman Geoff Thompson said: “We are thrilled with the response we’ve had to our investment round.

“To hit our initial target so early was something which filled us with so much pride and optimism for the future.

“It’s hugely exciting that more than 750 people have shown their support to us in this way and for Jade to be one of them is just another example to show how committed such a global superstar is to not just the club, but her hometown.

“We will continue to welcome new shareholders until the campaign ends on November 28th so any supporter or potential investor who is interested still has some time yet.

“We have had a remarkable journey over the last five-and-a-half years and receiving investment of this nature will help us greatly to continue delivering on our ambition to rise through the football pyramid as a sustainable, community-based club.

“I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has invested so far.”

Jade was named as an Honorary President of the Mariners in August as she again underlined her commitment to her hometown.

She is a proud patron of South Shields-based charity Cancer Connections and recently invested in her own bar, Arbeia, and nightclub, Industry, in the town.

Her role of President at South Shields FC will see the singer help to increase the club’s profile on a national and international scale, further putting the town on the map.

Shares in the club are available from £12.50 with a range of perks available for investors.

All those who invest £25 or more will receive a personalised certificate from the club, with larger investments potentially providing perks including scarves, ties, shirts, a place on a founder shareholders’ wall and hospitality tickets, all the way to a place on the board.

To become a shareholder like Jade, and to find out more about the perks available, visit seedrs.com/southshieldsfc.