Youngsters in Africa are proudly sporting the colours of South Shields after dozens of kits were donated to worthy football teams.

Mark Burns and the Simonside Branch worked with the club to ensure 64 full Mariners kits – and 90 shirts overall – were provided and delivered to two separate organisations based in Ndola, Zambia.

Ba Lackson and Gastro Kalumbwana, who are based in Ndola, recently set up two football teams and both have received 32 full strips including socks and shorts, as well as two footballs and a football pump each.

The teams played their first matches in South Shields colours last weekend.

This was a fantastic effort from Mark, in particular, who took on the logistical challenge of ensuring the kits safely found their way to their new home.

We wish all the players well in their new strips and once again thank Mark, the Simonside Branch and the club’s entire support base for their continued incredible backing.

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

One of the most popular stands at 1st Cloud Arena is set to be given a new name – and it could be yours!

A raffle is to be held to decide which name is featured on the stand, with tickets available to all for £25.

The lucky winner will be able to have their own name or that of their company take pride of place on the advertising boards which are on top of the stand, which is adjacent to the SSFC Foundation hut.

It will appear alongside text provided by the Simonside supporters’ branch, who have generously contributed £1,000 to kick off the raffle.

Many of the Simonside Branch’s members are based in the stand during home games and help to create a brilliant atmosphere. The club is hugely grateful to the branch for their generous contribution and valued support.

The Simonside Branch will provide their text and the winner of the raffle will then be able to provide their own. It could, for example, be ‘The Sima Stand sponsored by…’ followed by the name of the lucky winner.

The sponsorship will last for the entirety of the 2020-21 season and your contribution to the raffle would be hugely appreciated in such uncertain times.

As well as the main prize of stand sponsorship, there will also be runners-up prizes of signed shirts and hospitality packages up for grabs.

To buy your raffle ticket, please click here, call 0191 454 7800 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email

Tickets will be available until Friday, August 14.

We would like to reiterate our thanks to all those who have shown their support for the club over recent months by purchasing season tickets and renewing sponsorship packages, as well as those who have bought tickets for our inaugural online 50/50 draw and backed other club initiatives.

This has been a huge assistance to us and is helping to ensure the club has the funds needed to continue operating while there is no football.

We realise that not everyone is currently in a position to contribute, and ask all South Shields fans to remember that we are always grateful for their support, whatever form that takes.

Please continue to stay safe, look after those closest to you and heed the Government’s instructions.

We look forward to welcoming you back to 1st Cloud Arena with open arms whenever you feel the time is right.