Club nets £100k to help build a new clubhouse

North Shields FC chairman Alan Matthews on the land where the new club house is to be built.
North Shields FC chairman Alan Matthews on the land where the new club house is to be built.

A football club is hoping to be onto a winner after receiving a major cash boost to improve its facilities.

North Shields Football Club and its supporters have been granted an early Christmas present after receiving formal confirmation for a new clubhouse at their Daren Persson Stadium.

Club officials hope the new facility will help boost turnover while encourage more supporters to attend games while further improvements to the stadium are envisaged.

Building work is set to commence within a matter of weeks after the club received a £100,000 grant from the Football Foundation and the plans were approved by North Tyneside Council.

The clubhouse is to be built on land adjacent to the stadium on the corner of Silkey’s Lane and West Percy Road, servicing the facilities built on the site of the old Ralph Gardner School playing fields.

Mark Scott, commercial manager at the Robins, said: “This is a massive boost for the club and has the potential to double our current turnover.

“Our support has grown four-fold in the last five years and the feedback we were getting was that a new clubhouse would enhance our support and keep it growing at a manageable rate.

“North Shields is a town of 40,000 people but we have neighbouring towns such as Wallsend and Tynemouth that brings our catchment area up to 100,000.

“We see no reason why that populous can’t be tapped further to watch local football of a decent standard.

“The team, under the guidance of Graham Fenton, are performing on the pitch and are comfortably in the top six of the Northern League Division 1.

“Off the pitch the clubhouse will give us a social hub and if the average attendances continue to rise to the 500 level further stadium improvements are envisaged so we can look to return the club to its mantle of the top non-league side North of the Tyne.”

North Shields played for many years in the North Eastern League and flew the flag for the town up and down the country, the pinnacle of which was the winning of the FA Amateur Cup in 1969.

Crowds running into the thousands were not uncommon until the club’s sudden fall from grace in 1992 and the sale of Appleby Park.

Mr Scott added: “It has been a long trip back from Wearside League Division Two and the club’s supporters, many of who have continued to back the club during its dark days, will be able to lift a beer and toast the future in comfortable surroundings adorned with North Shields memorabilia in the presence of fellow supporters.”