A partnership between a football club and a growing business has marked a special anniversary.
Blyth Spartans and the Port of Blyth have marked the 20th year of the business sponsoring the Evo Stik Premier League club.
At Spartans’ recent 5-1 victory over Frickley Athletic 5-1 at Croft Park, staff from both the club and the port were toasting a sponsorship arrangement that stretches back to the 1990s.
Blyth Spartans’ chairman Tony Platten said: “As a club we’re delighted to have been able to rely on Port of Blyth’s support for so many years.
“In non-league football such loyalty is virtually unheard of and reflects the commitment that the port clearly has for the club and the community of Blyth.”
As a Trust Port, Port of Blyth is an independent organisation – neither privately nor publicly owned, and instead serves a wide range of stakeholders including the community, which led to the formation of the partnership in the first place.
Port of Blyth chief executive Martin Lawlor said: “When first considering the sponsorship all those years ago I very much had in mind the importance of supporting the community around us, and a partnership with Blyth Spartans was a natural fit.
“Both the club and the port were – and of course still are, institutions in the town.
“Both our fortunes – on good days and more challenging ones, like many towns and cities particularly in the north, are often reflected in the mood of the town.”
Whilst both organisations have endured challenging times in the 20 years together, the future is looking very bright for the football club and the port.
As the club looks set for promotion to the National League North, the Port is also riding high having engineered a second record financial year in a row in 2016 and is now regarded as one of the fastest growing Trust Port’s in the country.