Disabled footballers score funding for new kit

Head coach Amy Foggett with players and other coaches from Cramlington United FC.
Head coach Amy Foggett with players and other coaches from Cramlington United FC.

A disabled football team has netted a donation from a building society.

Cramlington United FC is now looking good on and off the pitch thanks to funding from Newcastle Building Society’s local branch.

The club runs three teams for people with disabilities, including epilepsy, autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.

After being nominated by Amy Foggett, a customer at Newcastle Building Society’s Craster Court branch in Cramlington, the club received a £974 grant to buy branded training tops and rain jackets.

Amy said: “We laid the training tops and rain jackets out as a surprise in the changing rooms and told the players to go and see what they could find – the reaction we got from all of them was fantastic and there was so much excitement when everyone realised they were theirs to keep.

“A lot of our disabled players aren’t able to work, which means that they don’t have a lot of spare money. They often can’t afford to buy a decent coat, let alone their own training kit, so having these tops will make a real difference.

“Finances at community clubs like ours are also always challenging and there’s no way we could have afforded to buy this new kit without the society’s generous support.”

Kelly Beattie, manager at the Cramlington branch, said: “A huge amount of time and effort goes into running Cramlington United’s disability teams and the enthusiasm of the players is matched by the success they’ve been enjoying on the pitch.”

She added: “Supporting our local communities is central to the society’s values and we’re proud to be getting behind such a fantastic community sports club.”

Founded five years ago, Cramlington United’s disability players are aged between 13 and 57. Players are banded depending on the type and severity of their disability, and all three of the teams won their sections of the Newcastle Development League last season.

The cost of running the teams is met from general club funds to ensure as many people as possible are able to participate, and the club is now looking at its options for forming its first 11-a-side disability team.