Christmas came early today in town on Tuesday when some of Merseyside’s greatest football names congregated at St Helens Town Junior Football Club to hand over a cheque of £50,000 from The Football Pools.
Former Kop legends Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen & Roger Hunt were joined by former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall on behalf of The Football Pools to reward Steve Leather, Club Secretary of St Helens Town Junior FC, with the official cheque.
Over the next 90 days, the club will be donning hard hats and picking up their hammers as it races to give the clubhouse a makeover including building new and improving current changing rooms, toilets, showers for its members as well as creating much needed storage facilities. The planned improvements will not only benefit the club and its members, but the wider community who use the facility.
Celebrating its 90th season in 2012/13, The Football Pools is the World’s oldest and most popular football gaming company ran a national competition in November to launch a UK wide search for two football clubs to win a 90 day makeover costing up to £50,000.
To enter, applicants stated clearly why they thought their club merited the £50,000 funding and demonstrated how this donation would be used for the good of the club. St Helens join Frome Town AFC in Somerset as the two winning clubs to have been selected by The Football Pools panellists Gordon Banks, Roger Hunt, Tony Green; Sportech Director of Corporate Affairs, Richard Boardley and StreetGames Chief Executive Jane Ashworth.
Since its formation in 2006, St Helens Town Junior Football Club started with 3 mini soccer teams which has now evolved to having over 300 members across over 20 junior teams. In this period the club has become one of the leading names in junior football and all through the hard work of over 30 qualified coaches. In 2012, St Helens Town Junior FC was awarded the Lancashire County Charter Standard Club of the Year Award.
A delighted Leather commented: “On behalf of everyone involved with the club I would like to thank The Football Pools for this extremely generous award. When I entered our application a month ago I did not dream that I would be standing here today with Kenny, Alan and Neville receiving this cheque. We firmly believe in our project here and know how important football is to our youngsters from the St Helens area.
“With this funding we can improve facilities, increase membership and continue to thrive as a football club. To all present here today can I urge you to get involved where possible over the next 90 Days – volunteer help, funding, media interest will all help us ensure this club gets the makeover it deserves.”
“The 90 Day Community Challenge is another example of The Football Pools’ endless work to help improve the beautiful game whilst changing the lives of those involved in it,” said Kenny Dalglish, who made 355 appearances for Liverpool between 1977 and 1990. “I am confident that the community of St Helens will get behind this activity in January and make a real difference. I look forward to returning after the 90 days to see the difference they have made.”
Richard Boardley, Director of Corporate Affairs, Sportech added: “Over the last four decades, The Football Pools has donated hundreds of millions of pounds into the game and this latest program will provide that essential lifeline for St Helens Junior Football Club to re-build and modernise their facility. I am sure the project will make a difference to St Helens and wish them good luck with the activity. The 90 Day Challenge is part of our In the 90th campaign which runs all season.”
For more information or if you would like to get involved with the 90 Day Challenge at St Helens Junior Football Club through donating time, funds or materials please email firstname.lastname@example.org